Collaboration key to skills development,says ITF chief

Image result for Sir Joseph AriThe Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has said local and international collaboration is critical to accomplishing the goals of the agency.

According to him, the Fund has established training linkages with external agencies, such as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the N-Power Knowledge, Niger Delta University (NDU), National Institute for Mining and Geosciences and Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN).

He said the current management of the agency would return the organisation to the path of growth, saying that, in the last two years, the agency has trained over 60,000 from 2,300 organisations and over 50,000 youths.

Other vulnerable groups were also equipped with skills for employability and entrepreneurship through programmes, such as the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Training on Wheels and the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP), among other initiatives.

Ari said about 150,000 Nigerians had benefited from ITF training programmes since the assumption of the current management.

He said: “ITF has implemented numerous technical skills acquisition programmes as well as introduced new initiatives including the National Industrial Skills development Programme (NISDP), the Women Skills Empowerment Programne (WOSEP) and the Skills Development Programme for Youths in Construction Trade (CONSEP) among several others.

“The NISDP, our flagship technical vocational skills acquisition programme, which was run twice in 2016, has trained about 30,000 youths drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between late 2016 to date.”

Ari said the agency has collaborated with organisations both locally and internationally for training and technical assistance.

According to him, the fund established training linkages with external agencies like United Nation’s Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the N-Power Knowledge, Niger Delta University (NDU), National Institute for Mining and Geosciences and Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN) amongst others.

On the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), he said: “The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme is a brain child of the ITF. It was initiated to provide students of engineering, technical and allied disciplines, with practical experience of the real work situations they were likely to find on graduation.

“The ITF disbursed a total of N1.6billion as students and supervisory allowances to 328 tertiary institutions.

“As part of efforts to improve the scheme, the ITF stepped up engagements with the supervising agencies and other stakeholders to address some of the problems bedeviling the scheme.

“To this end, it convened the 13th SIWES Biennial Conference and the SIWES stakeholders meeting. All the events took place in Abuja and attracted the participation of all the regulatory agencies, the Federal Ministries of Education; Industry, Trade and Investment; Labour and Productivity and employers of labour.

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