AS stakeholders explore different strategies to tackle the employment crisis in the country, the Federal Government is stepping its efforts towards the effective take off of its Skills Acquisition Training programme in 18 states of the federation. Already, the government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and other relevant officials under the Ministry have begun an assessment tour and audit of government skill training facilities. During such tour in Lagos, a statement by Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director (Press), Ministry of Labour and Employment, said Senator Ngige who led a team from his Ministry and the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, on a facility tour of skills acquisition centres, said the government was worried over the rate of unemployment in the country and was already tackling it from different fronts. According to him: “This is one of the programmes through which government intends to create jobs. Our decision to make blue collar jobs prominent in our multi-pronged job creation activities is informed by the limiting opportunities of white collar job against the elastic potentials offered by blue collar skills. The Federal Government will in the next two months flag off skills acquisition training in eighteen states (three in each geo-political zone) with Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory as strategic pivots for the first phase. We are therefore here to inspect facilities for effective take-off.” The Minister said that 50, 000 youths would be captured in the first phase of the training explaining that coaching consumables and other logistics for a smooth and successful session would be provided by the government. Facilities for effective take-off At the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Skill Training Centre, Lagos which was the Minister’s first port of call, he was taken around different sections of the centre such as the auto-mechanic and electrical sections, carpentry and joinery, building construction unit, welding and metal fabrication unit, all with modern machines some of which, the Principal of the Centre, Engr. C. Ojelade, lamented had been idle as result of poor power supply. Some of the items produced by the trainees of the centre were also on display. Similarly, at the NDE, Onike Yaba, the Minister was conducted round the premises by the Lagos State NDE coordinator, Mr. Ologbenla. While addressing staff, Ngige charged them to support the efforts of the federal government at job creation by rededicating themselves to duties. He urged them to be ready for deployment even to the rural areas where the N-Power programme was already being implemented in Agriculture and Mining to contribute to the successful diversification of the economy. The Minister also visited Government Technical College, Ikeja as well as Samsung Engineering Academy also in the same premises where trainees are taken through the repair of electronics such as fridges, air-conditioning sets, GSM telephones among others. He commended them and pledged the readiness of the Federal Government to partner reputable private organisations in skills acquisition and training programmes.
On February 9, 2017