The Industrial Development Fund (ITF) has commenced the implementation of its Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.
The agency said about 13,000 Nigerians are expected to benefit from the programme.
ITF director- general , Mr Joseph Ari, who made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja said the projects were informed by the result of its collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in a National Skills Gap Assessment in six priority sectors of the economy namely agri business and agro-allied, metal and solid minerals, oil and gas related industry, construction, light manufacturing and services industry.
According to him, findings from the report showed that despite the high level of unemployment in the country, 925 trades were either difficult or hard to fill in the labour market.
Giving a breakdown , Ari revealed that 19.7 per cent vacancies were in the housing sector,13.9 per cent in the petro-chemical sector,14.7 per cent in other goods, 11.4 per cent in the auto industry, 10.3 per cent in textiles,10.1 per cent in steel,8.9 per cent in the services sector and 3.3 per cent in the leather industry.
He further noted that 15.7 per cent of all hard to fill vacancies were due to lack of technical skills, 11.8 per cent due to lack of basic IT skills,9.2 per cent due to lack of advanced IT skills, and between 9.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent were due to lack of requisite soft skills.
He stressed that the outcome of that survey corroborated the agency’s in- house skills gaps surveys, which equally showed that despite rising employment, numerous vacancies still existed in several sectors of the national economy that either could not be filled by Nigerians because of the absence of the requisite skills or were being filled by foreigners.
While stating that from 10 participating organisations in early 2016, the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP)
project as at today, has been extended to 24 more participating organisations, he said to address the skills gap challenges and stem the spiraling unemployment in the country, a list of implementable programmes for the year 2018, had already been drawn by the management of the agency.
He listed the programmes to include, the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP),Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WSEP), Air conditioning and Refrigeration(Training on wheels),Design and Garment Making,Skills Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP-C) for the Physically Challenged, Post Harvest Techniques and Project Development, Aquaculture/Fish Farming, Manure Production, Crop Production/Greenhouse Technology, Poultry Farming, and Training Programme Development on International Marketing.
Ari said in all, the programme would train 13,000 Nigerians in the 5-month period of its duration.
According to him, apart from the NISDP that would be implemented in all states of the federation in cluding, FCT, Abuja, the rest of the programme would be shared amongst the states.
“What this means is that whereas so e states will benefit from one of the programmes, others could benefit from two to even three of the programmes.
“The decision as to which state benefits from a particular programme was based on the likelihood of participants to eke out sustainable livelihoods because of the needs of the states for such particular skills,” he explained.
Ari further hinted that the Entrepreneurship Development Training component of the above programmes would be conducted between. September and October, 2018, while the agro-allied trades would hold from September 3, 2018.