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All is set for the federal government to begin skill acquisition training in 18 states across the six-political zone of the federation in March.
This is as the Lagos State Government has disbursed about N1 billion to 705 beneficiaries of the Pilot Scheme of the N25bn Employment Trust Fund (ETF), an initiative to drive the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
In a statement issued in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said the skills development scheme will be driven by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Ngige said that Lagos and the Abuja Federal Capital would be a strategic pivot for the first phase of the training programme.
“Federal Government is worried over the rate of unemployment in the country and is already tackling it from different fronts. “Recall that job creation is one of the cardinal programmes of the present administration.
“Reckon also that the Federal Government has been undaunted by severe challenges occasioned by economic recession in rescuing millions from the ugly spectra of youth unemployment bracket. “This is one of the programmes through which government intends to create jobs.
“Our decision to make blue collar jobs prominent in our multi-pronged job creation activities is informed by the limiting opportunities of white collar job against the elastic potentials offered by blue collar skills.
“We are therefore here to inspect facilities for effective take off of training programs”, he said. The minister said that 50, 000 youths would be captured in the first phase of the training. He added that coaching consumables and other logistics for a smooth and successful session would be provided by the government.
Ngige inspected the different sections of the facility, such as the auto-mechanic and electrical sections, carpentry and joinery, building construction unit, welding and metal fabrication units.
Other areas visited by the minister included the Government Technical College, Ikeja and Samsung Engineering Academy, where trainees are taken through the repair of electronics such as fridges, air-conditioning sets, GSM telephones among others.