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Skills development: FG identifies apprenticeship to overcome challenges of poverty, unemployment in Nigeria

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The Federal Government has affirmed that apprenticeship and traineeship presents a great opportunity for Nigeria
to overcome the challenges of persisting unemployment and poverty

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who gave the affirmation at the 2nd National Skills Summit, held by the Industrial Trust Fund(ITF), in Abuja said
Apprenticeship and Traineeship, which is one aspect of skills acquisition, has the potential of solving some of the major challenges confronting the nation.

According to the minister, the summit is expected to dwell on apprenticeship and how it can be deployed to equipping Nigerians with technical skills to tackle the challenges of poverty and unemployment affecting Nigeria and it’s attendant consequences.

Adebayo said “Among its many comparative advantages, successful apprenticeships and traineeship have the potential to generate and build new skills, provide the most efficient way to train all-round craftsmen to meet present and future needs, To my mind, skills acquisition for Nigerians across the country is vital if we can overcome our challenges.

“I want to commend the ITF for this initiative and for its commitment to creating avenues such as today as they provide platforms for dialogue on ways of enhancing skills acquisition for national development in line with the programmes and policy objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

“I am also enthused by the theme of this summit, which to my mind aligns with current efforts of the Federal Government to resolve the numerous national challenges that have all been linked with swelling numbers of the unemployed and the poor, despite the committed efforts of the Federal Government”.

He highlighted a number of programmes initiated and implemented by the Federal Government that has recorded positive results in terms of uplifting the living standards of Nigerians as well as developing the National economy.

The Minister however expressed worry over lack of Nigerians with the requisite skills despite expected outcomes in terms of implemented programmes such as jobs creation.

He expressed optimism that resolutions that will emerge from the summit will contribute largely in resolving the challenges hindering adequate skills aquisition in Nigeria.

For the Minister of Women Affairs, Paullen Tale Helen, to ensure effectiveness of women empowerment programmes and policies, challenges facing womenfolk, especially financial constraints, limited educational opportunities and gender stereotype must be addressed.

She further urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that projects and programmes are designed to encourage inclusion of women in sectors like mining, solid minerals, engineering, aviation and some industries that are attributed to men.

The minister was certain that the outcomes the summit will redirect and reengineer the economic status of Nigeria with a view of tackling poverty, unemployment and insecurity in the country.

Earlier, the Director General, Industrial Training Fund, Joesph Ari, said the Summit, was conceived in 2019 to create an enabling avenue for relevant stakeholders to collectively deliberate and articulate strategies and interventions to tackle the lack of employable skills in the country, especially at a time that unemployment and poverty have continued to increase.

According to Ari “This Summit is not an admission of a lack of effort but part of the process of galvanising and deepening apprenticeship in Nigeria for National Development and a search for practical solutions to some of the impediments we had encountered some of which include but are not restricted to poor public conception of the apprenticeship system and skills acquisition, lack of necessary policy framework, lack pedagogical skills by some master craftsmen and poor funding of the scheme.

” I believe that this summit will provide us with the platform to finally articulate strategies for a robust apprenticeship scheme in the country. I am confident that, this Summit will certainly lead to strategies that will finally address the challenges that are affecting the apprenticeship scheme in the country, which will in turn address the problems of poverty and unemployment” the ITF boss said.

The 2nd National Skills Summit organised by the ITF is aimed to apply best practices for aligning skills development to market needs and, propound policy guidelines for skills development in Nigeria.

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