By Felix Khanoba
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) was in joyful mood on Thursday as 316 Nigerians graduated from its Model Skills Training Centre (MSTC).
Speaking at the event in Abuja, which saw to the award of National Innovative Diploma (NID) and the National Vocational Certificate (NVC) to the graduating students, Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, said skills acquisition remains the most viable solution to fight unemployment and poverty.
Ari expressed delight that with the combined convocation of graduates, the Fund finally achieved what it set out to do in 2008 when the idea of MSTC was conceived.
He said MSTC was put in place to generate sustainable solutions to rising unemployment and poverty and supply the manpower needs of the economy.
His words: “The Fund entered into a technical collaboration with the Institute of Technical Educational Services (ITEES) of Singapore leading to the establishment of the MSTC, which graduation we are witnessing today.
“Initially restricted to the award of National Institute of Technical Certificate, which was issued by ITEES Singapore, on assumption of office of the incumbent management of the Fund, the MSTC In 2016 sought and got the accreditation to run the National Innovation Diploma (NID) and National Vocational Certificate(NVC).”
He said for the NID, the Centre was accredited to run programmes in Hospitality and Tourism, Electrical and Electronics Technology Facility Management Technology, Welding and Fabrication, among others while for the NVC it was allowed to run programmes in Hospitality and Tourism, Electrical Installation and Repairs, and Automotive Mechatronics.
“With its unique approach of Hands-on, Minds-on and Hearts-on training delivery method, we believe that these graduands have been imparted with the right skills, knowledge and values to be work-ready, world-ready and future-ready,” the ITF boss said.
Speaking further, the ITF boss said over 65 percent of the graduates from MSTC within the last six years are now successful entrepreneurs and called on Nigerians to re-orient their minds on the need to acquire employability skills instead of pursuing few white collar jobs.
Also speaking, President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines And Agriculture (NACCIMA), Saratu Aliyu, said human capital development remains the best bet for the economic growth of the country.
She expressed the readiness of the association to partner with ITF in projects and programmes that contribute to the sustainable economic growth and development of the country.