By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in its continuous efforts to improve its service delivery and facilitate the actualization of its mandate has concluded arrangements to commence the implementation of the second phase of its plan.
The plan christened: ITF Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualization, was unveiled by the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari.
It would be recalled that, the first phase of the plan, which was implemented between 2016 and early 2020 among others equipped over 500,000 Nigerians with skills, over 70 percent of which are gainfully employed or successful entrepreneurs.
While unveiling the plan during an engagement with top management of the agency, Ari said, it was ‘hundred percent homegrown’, and was targeted at rectifying the pitfalls that were observed in the implementation of the first phase, while also seeking to build on the achievements of the first phase and support the initiatives of the Federal Government especially in the Agricultural sector.
The Director General also disclosed that the plan, which implementation will commence immediately and terminate in 2024, will focus on nine key areas of the agency’s activities.
The nine key areas include; Direct Training Services, Revenue Generation and Sustainable Funding, Resource Utilization, Special Intervention Programmes, Human Capital Development, Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Research and Development, Automation of Business Processes and other Programmes/Services.
Speaking on the Direct Training Services, which is the core mandate of the Fund, Ari said, the ITF would focus on Curriculum Development, E-Learning, Consultancy Services, Standardization and Certification, Re-engineering Business Development Support (BDS) Services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Technical and Vocational Skills Programmes, Certification of Apprentices, Technicians and Craftsmen as well as Performance and Productivity Improvement Training, while training programmes will be developed for the Maritime and Oil and Gas sectors that were hitherto not given priority attention by the Fund.
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Director General said that the Fund will develop and implement selected training programmes at no cost to the organisations just as all ITF facilities across the country will be fumigated while face masks and hand sanitizers will be procured for all staff among other COVID-19 interventions.
To ensure that requisite infrastructure is put in place for the expected rise in activities, the DG said “the ITF has concluded arrangements for the procurement of three additional mobile training units and will establish vocational wings in our Area Offices in Awka, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Akure, Gusau and Minna, which will train Nigerians in needed trades in their locale”.
He added that, “efforts will also be stepped up towards repositioning the Centre for Excellence in Jos for effective service delivery. In this regard, we will accelerate processes to acquire the Jossy Royal Hotel, which acquisition has already been approved by the Federal Executive Council.”