Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State Ambode says his administration is laying the necessary foundation for steady and sustainable economic growth in Lagos State.
Ambode who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said this on Thursday at the Graduation Ceremony and Job Fair of the first set of trainees from the Lagos State Employability Project (LSESP) in Lagos.
He identified skills acquisition as a sure pathway to economic prosperity and personal development of the youth in the State.
Ambode said his administration would continue to support initiatives toward the drive to for human development.
According to him, the graduation of 540 trainees is one of the primary goals of the Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) set up by his administration two years ago to address the issue of unemployment among youths.
The governor said he was excited that many residents and entrepreneurs had taken advantage of the fund.
He said that the LSESP was also providing a viable platform to bridge the gap of shortage of skilled and employable labour required to fill the needs of the job market and also provide 10,000 new jobs for youths by 2019.
”While the business ecosystem in the State has improved over the years, a manpower skills gap remains a significant issue for businesses operating in Lagos.
”Several firms and industries across the country are unable to find graduates and non-graduates with requisite skills to fill key positions. Paradoxically, there are thousands of unemployed youths out there desperate to find a job, any job,” the governor said.
Ambode said each of the graduates would be awarded a certificate endorsed by both the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) and the Australian Vocational training and Employment Group (AVTEG).
According to him, the certificates will affirm them as globally competitive and employable.
”The Employability Support Project will continue to support these young men and women through job placement initiatives.
“With twin aims of capacity building for Lagos State youths and the provision of employment opportunities for them, the project aims to provide 10,000 new jobs by 2019,” he said.
Ambode said that the project is a testament to the successful collaboration between the LSETF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in strengthening the human capital potential of Lagos youths.
Congratulating the graduands, the governor urged them to utilise their skills and the opportunities to go all out to become productive citizens.
”The State has done its part and kept its pledge to provide a safety net to any Lagos resident who needs a helping hand. It is now up to you to go forth and capitalise on the assistance you have received.
”I also urge other well meaning institutions and organisations to join the league of private firms who have keyed into the project as partners to harness the creative energies of youths in the State to become productive, self-reliant and proud contributors to the growth of the economy,” he said.
In her address, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Chairman, LSETF, said the project was to improve the technical and vocational training outcomes in the State with the aim of increasing employment opportunities for young people in Lagos.
”This event is a journey that started in November 2016, resulting in the signing of an MOU with the UNDP in May 2017.
“UNDP provided LSETF a grant of one million dollars to complement the Fund’s contribution of three million dollars towards an employability project in Lagos State.
”Also, 20 per cent of the graduates have already received job offers from employers, while efforts are ongoing to match the remaining graduates with other supporting firms,” she said. (NAN)
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