INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: FG TO TRAIN 1MILIION YOUTHS ANNUALLY ON TECHNICAL, VOCATIONAL SKILLS
As part of its Industrial Revolution, the Federal Government is to train at least one million youths annually in various technical and vocational skills under the National industrial Skills Development Programme.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Agaga, disclosed this in Abuja , on Thursday, during the Presentation of the National industrial Skills Development Project to stakeholders.
He said that The NISDP was a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Trade and investment, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority of Nigeria ; Industrial Training Fund and the Organised Private Sector , adding that the scheme would help to reduce youth unemployment across the country.
Aganga stressed that skills development was one of the major pillars of his ministry’s Industrial Revolution Plan stressing that the Ministry of Trade and investment would partner the Organised Private Sector and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation to significantly increase the pool of skills required to increase the productive capacity of local industries to enable them create jobs, generate wealth and transform Nigeria’s economy.
He also stated that the new initiative would widen the scope of entrepreneurial opportunities for skilled youths.
He said, “The Industrial Revolution which we have embarked upon is based on three major pillars which are industry; innovation and skills development. We want to focus on industries where we have comparative and competitive advantage, and with high potentials for job creation and wealth generation. In the area of innovation, we are focusing on research and development so that we can enhance the productivity and growth of our industries to enable them competes globally.
“But in the area of skills development, our objective is to significantly increase the pool of local skills required to deliver on our growth aspirations and ensure availability of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for our skilled youths. My charge to the ITF and SMEDAN I and stakeholders today is that given the current level unemployment in our country , our target is that we should be able to train at least one million youths annually in various occupations through the NISDP initiative and ensure that they are gainfully absorbed by industries so that we can reduce poverty and unemployment in our country”.
As part of its skills development strategy, Aganga said that the Ministry of Trade and Investment had already embarked on policy reform programmes aimed at removing bottlenecks along the value chain in order to link skills development and innovation to industry needs.
He said, “One of the major causes of unemployment is the shortage of technical and vocational skills. But what differentiates the NISDP from previous efforts at training and capacity building is that it is sector-driven . It has been conceptualised to transform our numerical advantage into productive advantage in the sense that training for each sector will be need-based . This will go a long in addressing the specific skills requirements and priorities of our local industrial and ultimately create jobs for our youths.”
In his goodwill message, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, said the development of vocational and technical skills was critical to the Nigeria’s Industrial Revolution.
He said, “Any meaningful industrial development of any nation depends on the level of technical skills of its nationals. We shall continue to work hard to provide an enabling environment that will enable the ITF, SMEDAN and other stakeholders play their roles in transforming our economy”