The Director General of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, has debunked a popular notion that there are no available jobs in the country, noting that the real problem is the lack of high-quality skills by prospective employees.
Oyerinde who decried the dearth of skilled manpower in the country said there are so many job opportunities in Nigeria but what is lacking is skilled manpower to fill those vacancies.
He also urged stakeholders to work assiduously in addressing the skills gap in Nigeria.
Oyerinde disclosed this in Abuja at the NECA-ITF dialogue forum and trainees’ award held in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, it is important to promote technical and vocational skills development for economic growth, and development, setting the country on par with other developed nations.
He said, “The programme was to address the critical issue of skills as it has been said over the years that jobs are waiting, if you say there are no jobs, you probably don’t know your valuation very well because there are jobs but no skills and as the global economy evolves.
“Now we have ICT populating the world space. We have cloud computing dominating the world space. We have green jobs and other innovative solutions. Jobs are available everywhere either by nature or circumstances. But we need individuals to take up those skills.
“At ITF, the programme is to make sure they are relevant using over 30 skill sets when the program started in 2019 and now over a thousand have been equipped using the skills to be entrepreneurs. You would agree with me that the project has done well and can do more.
“I dare say that this is the programme needed to resolve the crises of unemployment.”
He also promised to ensure that the association will continue to provide a platform for private-sector employers to interact with the government and other relevant organisations.
In her address, the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund, Oluwatoyin Ogun, said the fund has tried to reduce unskilled persons through its Technical Skills Development Project which has trained and graduated 54,603 technicians who are either employed in corporate organisations or has become entrepreneurs in their chosen fields.
She said the TSDP is a joint initiative of the two Agencies with the overriding objective of promoting the availability of manpower with appropriate technical and vocational skills to meet the identified needs of industries and the Nigerian economy.
“From a mere six participating organisations that trained and graduated 285 highly skilled Technicians, when it commenced in 2010, the Project today boasts of supporting 59 Participating Organisations and Technical Colleges with machinery and technical equipment which graduated 54,603 highly skilled Technicians that are either employed in corporate organizations or have become entrepreneurs that are employing others.
“The TSDP adopts the “brown-fields” approach for the skill acquisition programs, which entails leveraging existing facilities for training.
“In this regard, the Project uses training facilities of NECA member companies (also called Participating Organisations), ITF Industrial Skills Training Centres, and other selected Organisations.”
The highlight of the event was the recognition and giving of awards to students who distinguished themselves in the course of the 2023 ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project.
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