By DEMOLA AKINYEMI
ILORIN—In an attempt to reduce the problems of youths unemployment in Kwara State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday laid the foundation of the N1.4billion international vocational centre in Ajase-Ipo, Irepodun local government area of the state.
Governor Ahmed during the foundation laying at the permanent site in Ajase Ipo , along Ijagbo Offa road said the centre if completed will be the first of its kind in Africa.
Abdulfatah Ahmed said the first phase Vocational Centre is part of his administration’s resolve to “create a new generation of highly employable artisans and prosperous youth entrepreneurs through the provision of market relevant skills under our Share Prosperity Programme”.
He noted that the Centre will, through modernized vocational training, premised on world class standards, turn Senior Secondary School leavers, Polytechnic and University graduates into well trained artisans ready to create jobs and contribute to the collective prosperity of the state.
Governor Ahmed emphasized that the graduates of the International Vocational Centre who would be awarded globally recognized certificates and diplomas moderated by the London based City and Guilds will, on completion of their courses, be marketable and employable youths while Kwara State will become a reputable hub for vocational and technical skills in West Africa.
He also noted that the State Government consulted widely with the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and others in the business community as part of efforts to make the Vocational Centre of World Standard.
The governor added that the centre would run on a good mix of practical and theoretical learning with well equipped classrooms and practical skill development areas, especially in marine and port operation, agriculture, hospitality, catering as well as engineering, construction skills fashion design and textiles.
He also said that the youths will get first class trainings in agriculture,marine operation,hospitality and cathering ,textile,bricklayers and other technicians that are being sought from neighbouring countries for services as a result oftheir expertise.
Governor Ahmed who said the vocational centre would widen the frontiers of job opportunities recalled that his administration has created job opportunities for over 2,000 youths, absorsed 1,430 into the mainstream of the state civil service and brokered ten thousand public work jobs through the federal government.
He noted that his administration’s youth friendly policies were borne out of the realization that the youths need to be successful economic actors because they constitute over seventy percent of the population.
The Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Alhaji Saka Onimago in his remarks, assured Kwarans that graduates of the vocational centre would be well equipped to compete with their counterparts from Korea, China and other developed countries.
Earlier in his address a representative of Ajase-Ipo community ,Barrister Rasak Alabi commended the state government for the siting of the project in the area stressing that it would further boost the economic activities of the area.