by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
An agreement to work collaboratively to deepen the implementation of the Technical Skills Development Programme has been made by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employees Consultative Association (NECA).
This was disclosed by the new Director-General of NECA, Mr Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, during a meeting with the ITF DG, Sir Joseph Ari, on Thursday in Abuja. The meeting, which was held at the ITF Office in Abuja, was to discuss areas of partnership that would enable both organisations tackle the rising unemployment rate in the country.
Our correspondent gathered that, the Technical Skills Development Project is a joint initiative by the ITF and NECA, designed to promote the availability of middle-level manpower with the appropriate technical and vocational skills to meet the identified needs of industries in Nigeria.
The training institutions currently provide empowerment in Information and Communication Technology, Mechanical Maintenance Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Machining and Pipe-fitting (Plumbing), Welding & Fabrication, and Production Welding Maintenance, among others.
Sir Ari, while expressing optimism that, NECA under the leadership of Oyerinde will work with the Fund to address the rising unemployment in Nigeria, stated that, “Under the renewed vision of the ITF, the focus of the Fund is centred around a national apprenticeship training system.”
He stressed that, “There is the need to change the education system of Nigeria to integrate Technical Vocational Education and Training in our curriculum. Nigerians should embrace TVET as the unique measure to address unemployment in the nation.
“Unemployment is rising daily, and we want more Nigerians to embrace skills acquisition because white-collar jobs are becoming almost non-existent. We can use TVET to change the narrative of our country for good. ITF and NECA are ready to empower Nigerians with the requisite skills,” the ITF DG stated.
Also, the DG NECA noted that, “Most developed countries are driven by the technical ability of their people,” and assured that both agencies will work collaboratively to expand the programme for the benefits of Nigerians. According to him,
“The country is faced with huge challenges, and we need to join hands together to tackle them. We have an unemployment rate of about 33 per cent, and when you add the under, employment rate – which is about 20 per cent – then we know that it has become imperative to deepen our collaboration, particularly in the area of the TSDP programme.”