Why ITF is organising a national skills summit- DG

By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

In its efforts to ensure that its mandate of youth empowerment with technical vocational skills is attained the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is to organise a National skills summit.

The Agency said the summit which is tagged: ‘Skills for Employability and Job Creation’, “is designed to serve as a platform to articulate strategies and actionable steps for developing employable skills to enhance job creation in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, while addressing journalists in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, on the organisation’s activities in the first quarter of year 2020.

Ari said, “The summit seeks to apply best practices for aligning skills development to market needs.

He added that the summit will spotlight and also bring to public domain topical issues that have skills development implications or requiring skills interventions.

The Director General also stated that the summit will bring together skills development agencies and practitioners in order to exchange ideas and facilitate professional networking and technical collaborations.

According to him, the summit which will attract chief executives, policy makers and training officers from all sectors of the nation’s economy; there would be propound policy guidelines for skills development.

Ari further stated that the first quarter of year will also witness the Closing ceremony of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), which is one of the numerous skills acquisition intervention programmes introduced and implemented by ITF to facilitate the achievement of Federal Government’s policy on job and wealth creation.

“It focuses on skills acquisition to create jobs to stem rampant unemployment and breed a new generation entrepreneurs, in order to transform the economic landscape of the country.

According to him, “Since its inception, the NISDP has equipped over 450, 000 Nigerians nationwide with skills for employability and entrepreneurship.

“Our commitment to skills acquisition is based on the fact that it is the most proven solution to combating unemployment, reducing poverty and youth restiveness in the country.

He said the trainees we equipped with skills in nine trade areas which include; leather works (shoe and bag making) welding and fabrication, catering and event management, tiling, production and laying of interlock tiles, furniture making, domestic electrical wiring and installation, solar energy installation, plumbing and pipe fitting, and autogelle and beauty care.

The Director General also stated that Commissioning of Projects across the Federation will be part of its first quarter activities; the projects to be commissioned include: the Lagos Island Area Office Complex, the Headquarters Library complex in Jos, the Mechanics workshops at the Industrial Skills Training Centre (ISTC), Kano and the Katsina Area Office complex.

He added that the Lagos Island Area office complex to be commissioned include office accommodation; modern day training rooms fully equipped for human capital development and office spaces for rent (source of revenue generation).

The DG said the commissioning will be performed by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.

The last but not the least among the first quarter activities of the organisation is the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).

Ari said the SIWES is the brainchild of the ITF, saying “It was initiated to provide students of engineering, technical and allied disciplines, with practical experience of the real work situations they were likely to find on graduation.

“As part of efforts to improve the scheme, the ITF has stepped up engagements with supervising agencies and other stakeholders to address some of the problems bedeviling the scheme.

He further stated that SIWES conferences and stakeholders meeting are organised biennially with all regulatory agencies, the Federal Ministries of Education, Industry, Trade and Investment; Labour and Productivity and employers of labour as participants.

“In this regard, the Fund will be organising the 14th SIWES Biennial conference in February, 2020”, he assured.

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