Unemployment

…Partners USADF to train youths on employability skills

By Nnamdi Ojiego

In its determination to tackle unemployment and employability challenges facing youths, the Lagos government through the State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, in partnership with the United States Africa Development Foundation, USADF, has successfully trained over 1000 Lagosians in various skills and created 124,500 direct and indirect jobs over the last years.

The Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chinyere Almona, disclosed this on Thursday in her keynote address at the graduation ceremony of the Midramo/LSETF/USADF employability programme for 300 youths.

Represented at the event themed: “Nigeria and the Employability Challenge”, by the Director, International Public Sector Department, Temitope Akintunde, Almona commended the vision of the Lagos government with the establishment of LSETF and the prioritising of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, inspiring the creative and innovative energies of Lagos residents and reducing unemployment, improving access to finance and creating enabling environment for sustainable growth of the sector.

She, however, urged the policymakers to continue to emphasise the importance of ’employability skills to ensure youths are fully equipped in meeting the challenges of an increasingly demanding labour market.

“Since the inception of LSETF, the Fund has created over 124,500 direct and indirect jobs and 55,170 new taxpayers have been added to the Lagos State tax database. In 2021, the Fund also distributed N12 million to 19 beneficiaries affected by End-SARS, workspace vouchers issued to 105 beneficiaries, 50 persons trained in partnership with Ustacky, and 22 beneficiaries mentored in the Idea Hub programme. Also, 2,722 applicants were trained and certified and 2,156 beneficiaries were placed in jobs or self-employed. All of these are laudable achievements but we need to do more to address the employability challenge.

“I, therefore, urge the government to deepen their collaboration with employers and institutions of higher learning to further develop an effective mechanism that will address the issue of employability. Also, I wish to encourage our youths to remain focused and committed to these developmental programmes and ensure it reflects in their productivity at work”, she appealed.

Also speaking, a director at Midramo, Rasheed Odewunmi, said the program was initiated to reduce unemployment in Lagos by providing adequate and relevant training and job placement for young people.

While commending the LSETF and USADF for sponsoring the training, Odewunmi said, “our program is not only anchored on the technical aspect and technical skills, we also touch a lot on soft skills and we had a lot of support from some other international donor agencies that give us some technical support to ensure that our program is very rich.”

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