As part of the efforts to reduce youth unemployment in the country, the federal government through Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) has trained, mentored and supported about 41,161 young graduates with about N30, 000 monthly stipends since its inception.
Project Director, Graduate Internship Scheme, Dennis Chukwu, disclosed this at Career Development and Entrepreneurship Skill Training held at Maikudi Hotel, Katsina for about 50 graduates after their 12 months internship in Katsina and Zamfara States respectively.
The project director, who was represented by Mrs Ruth Elisha Shavah, disclosed that out of over 35, 000 graduates that have exited the scheme, 31 per cent were females.
“Many have secured credit facilities and grants (including YouWiN! Grant) to expand businesses they set up using GIS stipends and many have set up cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into SMEs. Rather than seeking for work, they are now becoming employers,” he stated.
Chukwu assured that although the purpose of setting up the scheme is being achieved, the government would continue to improve its capacity to absorb more applicants as long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed.
“My hope is that the GIS will be yet, another example that Nigeria will sell to the world as a way out of graduate unemployment. It is also my hope that some years down the line, the GIS interns will galvanize different sectors, especially the non-oil sectors, which are the new focus of the Nigerian economy,” he added.
He was optimistic that the skills and experience the graduates had acquired through GIS had placed them in a position to contribute meaningfully to national development.
Recalling the zeal and patriotism shown by the GIS public and private partner organisations, Mr. Chukwu lauded their commitment to the Nigerian youth by agreeing to partner with the scheme and host graduate interns for 12 months.
“This commitment has translated to development of a new crop of dedicated, creative and effective young people who are ready to take on the task of national development,” he stressed.
In his remarks, one of the resource persons in the three day exit training programme, Sirajo Mohammed Gulubb, said the trainig is borne out of the need to explore the knowledge and experience of graduate interns over the one year and see how the graduates could use the experience to chart a new life for themselves either as independent entrepreneurs or as job seekers.
“That is why we engage them in brainstorming discussions and allow them to express their minds and experience. That is how we would know whether the one year long experience that have gained as interns have been useful to them,” Gulubb stated.