AWKA—THE Industrial Training Fund, ITF, yesterday in Awka empowered 300 youths trained under the organization’s National Industrial Skills Development Programme, NISDP, with starter packs as part of the implementation of the federal government’s job creation and poverty reduction.
The Director-General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, at the ceremony, said the beneficiaries, who were trained for three months in tailoring, welding and fabrication and plumbing and pipe fitting, were carefully selected based on their potential value addition to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
Ari, who spoke through Mr. Peter Agu said it was the first time the trainees received starter packs, adding that under the present phase, the empowerment would be extended to 11,000 beneficiaries across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said: “This 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 starter 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 the earlier phases, which revealed that when supported with start- up packs, 90% of the trainees went on to be successful entrepreneurs or even employers of labour.
“The start-up packs 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.”
Anambra State governor, Chied Willie Obiano, who was represented at the ceremony, commended ITF for introducing the programme and urged the organization to make the empowerment more frequent to accommodate more youths.
He also advised the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the opportunity, noting that with what they had received from ITF, the sky had become the limit for them.