By Nana Musa
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), on Thursday in Abuja trained 8,000 persons under the Technical Skills Development Project (TADP).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training was done in incollaboration with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NACA).
The Director-General/Chief Executive of ITF, Dr Afiz Ogun, said this when he declared open the ITF/NACA TSDP stakeholders dialogue forum and award of 28 outstanding trainees.
The TSDP is a joint initiative of the two agencies with the overriding objectives to promote the availability of manpower with appropriate technical and vocational skills to meet the identified needs of industries and the economy.
Ogun said that the ITF/NACA TSDP was initiated in order to tackle the problems of unemployment and skills mismatch in the country.
“It is aimed at providing employable and entrepreneurial skills to youths to address skills needed in the country by promoting technical and vocational skills development for economic growth.
“In other words, it is a functional and result-oriented model for employability and job creation to promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through strategic intervention in Technical Colleges, set standards and monitor adherence,” he said.
Ogun said that to ensure the success of the project, ITF and NECA adopted a robust management structure that had not only guaranteed its effectiveness but also ensured its efficiency and numerous achievements.
“The organ responsible for policy formulation, implementation, and the attainment of set milestones is a 10-man policy board.
“This comprises the directors-general of ITF and NECA as the Chairman and Co-Chair, respectively, with four other representatives from each organisation.
“The TSDP adopts the “brown-fields” approach for the skills acquisition programmes, which entails leveraging existing facilities for training.
“In this regard, the project uses training facilities of NECA member companies (participating organisations), ITF Industrial Skills Training Centres and other selected organisations.
“Also involved in the project are selected Federal and State Technical Colleges from the six geo-political zones and the FCT, which have been provided with the requisite equipment, tools for practical work and workshops.
“These were either newly constructed or renovated to bring them in sync with laid down standards for all facilities that are used for Project,” the chairman said.
The Director-General of NACA, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said that the project was designed to provide employable and entrepreneurship skills to youths to address skills needed in the country.
Oyerinde said that it was also to promote technical and vocational skills development for economic growth, set standards and monitor adherence in the implementation of the project.
He said that the two agencies were promoting TVET through strategic intervention in technical colleges, demonstration to policy makers a functional and result-orientated model for employability and job creation.
Dr Vanessa Phala, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, commended the project describing it as essential for development.
Phala, who commended the 28 exceptional participants, saidthat the ILO would continue to support the project.
One of the award recipients, Mr Bongshin Edward, commended the government for the initiative and efforts of all the coaches for the project.
He advised other trainees to take the programme seriously and encourage people to enroll for any skills acquisition programme.
Edited by Ese E.