One hundred Nigerian youths have commenced training in the vocational skills programme sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and facilitated by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
The training covers eight skills areas, and they include Information and Communication Technology; Electrical/Electronic Technology; Industrial Automation and Mechatronics; Instrumentation and Process Control; Mechanical Services and Maintenance; Mobile Phone Repairs and Troubleshooting; Residential Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Maintenance and Building Technology.
The programme would last for six months, and it is the second time the Board is collaborating with the ITF for the training of Nigerian youths. The first edition was concluded in 2021 and 254 youths were trained and equipped with tools and resources that should enable them to start their own enterprises.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote spoke at the kick-off ceremony in Abuja on Monday and expressed delight that many participants from the first programme have started their own businesses, and some got formal employment to support the economy. The high level of success motivated the need to carry out the second batch of the training, he said.
Represented by the General Manager Capacity Building Division, Dr. Ama Ikuru, the Executive Secretary explained that the design of the training is to ensure that beneficiaries end up as successful artisans, entrepreneurs, and employers of labour, which is why emphasis will be placed on entrepreneurship and practical skills. “With our 60:20:20 training policy, we insist that at least 60 percent of our beneficiaries will have a clear line of sight to gainful employment and or are equipped to start their own businesses,” he added.
The beneficiaries were selected from the Board’s NOGIC-JQS platform, with representation from different zones of the country. Selection exercises were also organised for the trainees, involving tests and oral interviews in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Wabote stated that human capacity development is one of the key mandates of the Board and each year the agency trains over 2000 Nigerians in various skill areas, either through direct intervention or through the project-based training executed by contractors and operating companies.
He revealed that “over 3000 Nigerians benefitted from the Board’s sponsored or facilitated training programmes in 2021, and a higher number is expected in 2022 to cushion the effect of COVID 19 and the challenges being faced in the wider economy.” He added that the objective is that Nigeria will have adequate and competent human capacity to run the economy and achieve a high level of domiciliation and domestication of activities in key industries, including the oil and gas industry.
He confirmed that the Board’s human capacity training programmes have been aligned with the rapid advancement of technologies and the digitalization in the oil and gas industry and the Board will increase the number of training programmes in digital science, analytics, and digital coding.
He listed other areas of the Board’s capacity building interventions to include the renovation and upgrade of some technical and vocational education training schools (TVETS) across the country, with modern industrial equipment and strengthening engineering departments in selected tertiary institutions to ensure that their graduates are trained ready for the challenges of the modern industry.
In her remarks, the Director-General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari commended NCDMB for its commitment to the empowerment of Nigerians and for collaborating with the institution. He submitted that “this kind of synergy is vital to actualize our respective mandates and effectively address most of the problems confronting the country, especially unemployment and poverty and their effects on national life.”
Represented by the Head Corporate Planning, Mrs. Yinka Shodunke, the Director-General suggested that Nigerians who are equipped with requisite skills will be better disposed to take advantage of numerous policies designed by the Federal Government to boost the economy and improve the standard of living of the citizens.