The duo of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) have sealed an agreement to address youth unemployment through Technical Programmes.
The agreement would ensure that youths posses requisite skills for industry needs.
Director General of ITF, Joseph Ari, said that the ITF and NECA collaboration was informed by the need to ensure Nigerian youths migrate from paper qualification and equip them with hands-on skills to compete globally on industry needs of 21st century.
“We believe that skills acquisition by Nigerian Youths is the way to go in 21st century, and it is more urgent now than ever when our population is projected to reach 500 million by 2050. If urgent action is not taken, the youths are exposed to greater risks of social unrest,” Sir Ari said.
The director general who observed that the developed nation’s of the world are advanced because of skills for industrialisation said the focus of the ITF and NECA collaboration would ensure Nigerians are equipped with the hands-on skills which are in demand globally.
Speaking further on key focus of the MoU, Olusegun Oshinowo, the Director General of NECA said Nigeria must encourage inclusive growth through employment, since the continuous growth recorded in recent years did not address concerns raised by unemployment.
“The focus of the MoU is first to ensure we use capacity that is on ground to enable our youths acquire skills that would grow the economy. In which case, we look around Private sector companies in Nigeria, and identify most of them with Technical training schools,and empower them to train Nigerians to acquire skills that industries would require for the growth of industry,” he said.
He explained further that Federal Government had already selected 18 companies for that Public Private sector collaboration.
He added further that they have shown both hard and software capacities to bring in young Nigerians to acquire technical and vocational skills.
”We would also be using the ITF skills Centres. NECA would also in the collaboration provide opportunities for students going through the ITF training programmes and collaborations with Industries to acquire practical experiences and we have data bank and link for industries to work with where there skills are required,” he added.
Part of the focus in the MoU, the NECA Director-General said is to resuscitate the technical training schools in the country many of whom have dilapidated infrastructure.
“They must be equipped in line with the demands of the 21st century and infrastructure in the Geo-political zones must be resuscitated to equip our students with skills for job,” he added.
Experts had largely attributed high security concerns in the country and youth restiveness to the rising cases of unemployment, as they urged all stakeholders to focus on capacity development for youths to address such concerns.