Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has promised to provide start-up packs for 11,000 Nigerian youths trained nationwide under its National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP).
Director General/Chief Executive of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, disclosed this, on Wednesday, during the closing ceremony of the three-month NISDP for Enugu State and handing over of start-up packs to 300 trainees at the Indoor Hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
Ari explained that the trainees were carefully selected based on their potential value and the growth and development of Nigerian economy.
They were trained for three months in three trades: “tailoring and fashion design, welding and fabrication and plumbing and pipe-fitting”.
He said that the programme was the result of the committed and relentless efforts of the ITF in line with its mandate and as contribution to the Federal Government’s policy of job/wealth creation and poverty reduction designed to equip the youths with skills for employability and entrepreneurship.
“Today’s event marks a watershed since we commenced implementation of the NISDP as we have taken a step further from merely training and equipping the youths with knowledge and skills, to providing them with start-up packs to enable them set-up their businesses and hit the ground running.
“The decision to provide the packs was informed by our tracking and monitoring of trainees of earlier phases, which revealed that where supported with start-up packs, 90 per cent of the trainees want on to be successful entrepreneurs, or even employers of labour. Conversely where they were not, they were not as successful,” he said.
Ari also said that start-up packs that were distributed to the trainees should be viewed as “our practical example and message to our stakeholders, especially state governors and other members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS) that training without corresponding support will not lead to expected outcomes.”
Ari cautioned the beneficiaries against selling the packs, urging them to use it to improve themselves, adding that “your destiny is in your own hands, do not toy with it.”
He thanked the state government for creating enabling the environment to train the youths from the state and availing the state’s infrastructure for the training, while soliciting cooperation and assistance of stakeholders to realize fully the objectives of the programmes.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo thanked ITF for the gesture, promising that the state government would continue to provide conducive environment for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to thrive in the state.