ITF Blames High Unemployment On Skills Gap | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Labour & Employment

ITF Blames High Unemployment On Skills Gap

Posted: Sep 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sylvester Enoghase.


The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has blamed the high unemployment rate in the country on the gap between available skills and demands of the labour market.

ITF’s Acting Director-General, Mr. Dickson Onuoha, in a chat with Independent, said there were many job openings but no skilled manpower to fill them.

He emphasised that the ITF, in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), launched a National Industrial Skills Gap Assessment Survey in 2015, and its result showed that there were vacancies, which were not adequately filled.

Onuoha said: “Preliminary information from the report of that exercise, which is about to be finalised and released, shows that there are a lot of vacancies in the industries.  This is not because of lack of youths or graduates, but because they lack the required skills to fill these vacancies.””

According g to him, the Fund had begun training 9,500 youths in 18 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in various trades.

At the flag off of the 2016 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) in Alausa, Lagos,  Onuoha canvassed support for the government’s rapid industrialisation and economic diversification policy.

He said the training was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to bridging the unemployment gap through entrepreneurial development, adding that the programme was designed to equip young Nigerians with requisite skills for job creation.

Onuoha stated: “The first phase of the programme commenced four years ago and has continued in subsequent phases in all states of the federation and FCT, producing thousands of well trained artisans. Trainees were exposed to intensive technical and vocational skills for three months in different trade areas.

“Today, we are witnessing the flag off of the fifth phase of the programme, which shall be implemented simultaneously in 18 states and the FCT. A total of 9,500 youths will be trained in this phase,” he stressed.

He said ITF identified Lagos State Government as a strategic partner in the realisation of the Nigerian project, noting that the collaboration would deepen and sustain the achievements recorded so far by Lagos State.

He added: “It is therefore in this spirit of shared determination that we have identified and selected satellite centres in three senatorial districts of Lagos State to provide training in areas such as catering and hotel management; tailoring and fashion design, refrigerator and air-conditioning; domestic electric installation, among others.”

Onuoha said the trade areas were carefully selected based on their anticipated value addition to the citizens and the potential to provide opportunities for growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as being a sure means of sustainable livelihood.

The Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Adesokan Gboyega, said Lagos State was pursuing a policy of job creation and sustainable development. He added that Lagos was ever ready to partner with the ITF.