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Technical skills development: ITF-NECA signs MoU with 30 organisations to boost economic growth

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The Industrial Training Fund(ITF) in collaboration with Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with thirty organizations to promote technical skills development for economic growth.

Speaking at a world press conference on ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project(NSDP), where the MOU signing took place, the Director General, ITF, Sir Joseph Ari said the TSDP which is a joint initiative between the Fund and NECA, seeks to promote the availability of manpower through impartation of practical skills needed to reduce unemployment.

Ari who noted that successful countries have achieved a lot through technical and vocational skills acquisition, further stated that getting the youth empowered with required skills is the way to go in fixing infrastructure deficit in the country.

The ITF boss stated that ” What we are about to witness is very significant and important for the growth of the country. The two bodies which is the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association(NECA) and the Industrial training fund (ITF) have been advocating for this country to dive into technical vocational education and training(TVET) but our calls have always been falling on deaf ears.

“However of recent, we have seen members of both public and private bodies taking a que and falling in-line and listening to this yelling and clarion call of NECA & ITF. For the avoidance of doubt this is the only direction to go,
if we are going to fix our infrastructure deficit and to get our people empowered with the required skills.

“This is what other countries have done to get to where they are today and we can not be left behind. Paper qualification is very important but without skills, infrastructure cannot be fixed”.

According to the ITF DG, the birth of TSDP was informed by the need to bridge the gap that absence of technical skills and skills mismatch has created in industries and the country.

Sir Ari revealed that the project has so far achieved significant progress in the 12 years of it’s existence, as it has graduated a total of 54, 608 highly skilled technicians that are either employed in corporate organizations or have become entrepreneurs that are employing others as their staff.

Ari said ” permit me at this juncture to highlight some of the specific milestones that the project has achieved over the years of it’s existence. These include but are not limited to:

Upgraded 10 federal and state, science and technical colleges through the supply and installation of modern training equipment and tools.

Donated modern and state-of -the art equipment, tools and consumables to participating organizations, thereby expanding the training capacity.

Constructed and renovated training workshops for six government technical
Colleges”.

The ITF DG however expressed concern over some challenges bedeviling the project inspite of the milestones it has so far achieved.

The challenges he highlighted include funding, high rate of unemployed youths that the project cannot absorb, infrastructure deficit, non inclusion of TVET in the nation’s educational curricula, among others.

Sir Joseph consequently expressed hope that the support of crucial stakeholders as well as the commitment of the Fund and NECA could make the Project potentially become a major antidote to unemployment in Nigeria.

For he part, the Director, Learning Development and Project, NECA, Celine Oni, said the Memorandum of Understanding signed by 30 participating organizations is to ensure global standard training for trainees to enable them compete globally.

The memorandum of understanding signed with the selected participating organizations is expected to drive the objectives of the project in the next two years, including to promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through strategic intervention in Technical colleges.

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