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Capacity Building: FG Targets 300,000 Artisans Annually — Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said on Friday in Abuja that arrangements had been concluded to train no fewer than 300,000 tradesmen annually.

Ngige said this at a news conference organised by the ministry to mark 2016 Democracy Day.

“The artisans will be trained in tiling, mechatronics, metal works, welding, plumbing, masonry, POP production and laying, Info-technology techniques, among others.

“They will primarily find opportunities in the formal and informal sectors and arrest a situation where a dominant percentage of such low cadre skills are provided for us by Ghananians, Togolese and others.

“Through our partnership with the International Labour Migration of the European Union, these category of Nigerians will soon export their skills as legal migrants to other countries.

“So, our target is to train not less than 300,000 per year and trainings are already ongoing in most of our centres.”

Ngige said job creation was one of the cardinal agenda of the present administration and that the ministry had taken concrete steps towards its realisation.

He, however, noted that all over the world, governments were responsible for the creation of 20 per cent of jobs while the rest were provided by the private sector.

He observed that the government owed it a duty to create the enabling environment for the private sector to flourish.

“The heavy investment in infrastructure in the 2016 budget, indeed the 350-billion-infrastructure funds, all explain the determination of government in this direction.

“Notwithstanding the prevailing economic downturn, government is doing its best in the provision of jobs, with emphasis, though, on blue-collar.”

The minister said the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), the main job creation agency, had over 100 skills acquisition centres across the country, besides the ones owned by some Ministries, Agencies and states.

He said that the ministry had embarked on the rehabilitation and re-equipping of NDE skills centres, to enhance their training capacity.

“We are establishing a liaison with other skill centres owned by other ministries, agencies and state governments, so as to synchronize and standardise their operations.

“We are working to institutionalize them as training centres whose certificates – Trade Test 1, Trade Test 2 & Trade Test 3 — can be recognised internationally just like the City and Guilds certificate of old.”

He further noted that the NDE also runs the Graduate Conversion Scheme of Teacher Corps, under which platform the 500,000 teachers would be recruited.

According to him, other programmes which will become operational soon include Community Service Scheme, School Feeding Programme and Micro-Credit scheme.

“These are elements in the Conditional Cash Transfer of our Social Intervention Scheme for which the sum of N500 billion was budgeted this year. ”

He added that the ministry was also partnering with reputable data companies to have a comprehensive employment data in the country as the existing data was not encouraging. (NAN)

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