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ITF set to extend its skill acquisition programmes to agric, construction, says D-G

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ITF set to extend its skill acquisition programmes to agric, construction, says D-G

ITF

Ari said this on Wednesday in Umuahia during the formal closing ceremony of the three-month training of 300 Abia youths in three different vocational skills organised by the fund.

He said that a survey conducted by the fund, in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, showed that agriculture, construction and service sectors had great potential to creat jobs and reduce poverty in Nigeria.

The director-general, who was represented by Mrs Adaeze Okonkwo, Director, Corporate Planning Department, said the fund had the desire to fill the skills gap identified by the survey.

He appealed to parents and guardians “to see hands-on skills as vocations and real alternatives that could lead to a more meaningful life for their children and wards.

“The era of white-collar jobs for all by government is well and truly over.

“The perception that hands-on skills are dirty and a preserve of the illiterate and ne’er do well in society must change,” Ari said.

He said that the success of the organisation’s efforts in equipping Nigerian youths with the relevant skills to create jobs depended on the collaboration and synergy of all the key stakeholders, especially the beneficiaries, parents and guardians.

According to him, “The beneficiaries must resolve to make the most of the opportunity provided by ITF skills acquisition programmes.

“You must also ensure that you use the start-up kits presented to you to not only put food on your table but also make meaningful contributions to the nation’s economy.”

He said that a survey by the fund showed that 90 per cent of trained youths, who were provided with start-up kits, were earning their livelihood as entrepreneurs.

“It is our conviction that training the youths without equipping them defeats the core objective of the programme and the policy of the present administration to create wealth and grow the economy,” he said.

Ari described skill acquisition as the most sustainable solution to unemployment, poverty and youth restiveness in the country.

He said, “It is incontrovertible that any society that neglects the development of its human capital is bound to retrogress in terms of growth and development.”

Ari said that the fund had trained and equipped 450,000 Nigerian youths, with at least 4,100 from Abia, since the inception of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 300 Abia youths were trained in Aluminium works (100), POP and tiling (100), and Catering and Events Management (100).

In a remark, Mrs Ifeyinwa Uwasomba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development  in Abia, thanked ITF for organising the training for youths of the state.

Uwasomba, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Darlington Ahuronye, expressed joy that the training would help to reduce the rate of youth unemployment in the state.

She advised the beneficiaries to ensure that they put the skills they acquired to work in order to become self-reliant and employers of labour in future.

They commended ITF for the programme which, according to them, will help to reduce the unemployment rate and channel the energies of the youths to productive ventures away from crime and social vices.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

Sport

ITF forms player panels for lower-tier professionals

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With lower-level athletes alleging lack of communication with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the governing body has now moved for a change.

The federation on Tuesday announced the creation of player panels for those competing on its World Tennis Tour.

The ITF World Tennis Tour consists of lower-rung tournaments and serves as a transition circuit between the junior and senior game.

It gives more professionals a chance to earn a living while helping them move up the ladder to play on the men’s ATP Tour and the WTA Tour for the women.

But with the shutdown of the tennis circuit since early March due to the novel coronavirus, those depending solely on tournament winnings have been left in a precarious situation.

Georgia’s Sofia Shapatava, the world’s 375th-ranked women’s singles player, started a petition seeking financial assistance from the ITF while also pleading with the body to communicate better with the lower-ranked professionals.

“The panel will provide a forum for players to provide their input and have their say on how the tour is run and will be a further opportunity for the ITF to engage with the player community,” the London-based governing body said.

While tennis is a lucrative sport for those at the top, those in the lower echelons often struggle to make ends meet.

The men’s ATP, the WTA, which runs the women’s circuit, the ITF and the organisers of the four Grand Slams have now all come together.

This is to work on creating an emergency relief fund for those struggling during the shutdown.

“It is vital that the views of players are represented at all levels of the sport and across the globe,” ITF chief David Haggerty said.

The men’s and women’s players will each elect a panel of seven current player-members, who will have voting rights.

An ITF-appointed chair and an ITF-appointed coach will also be in the panel, but neither will have a vote.

Men’s players with an ATP ranking of below 350 will be allowed to nominate a fellow player or stand in the election.

This will also apply to women’s tennis players with a WTA ranking no higher than 151.

The elected members will serve two-year terms on the panel, which will advise and make recommendations to the World Tennis Tour Committee, which in turn reports to the ITF board.

Australian Mark Woodforde, a 17-time Grand Slam doubles champion, will chair the men’s panel while the women’s panel will be led by multiple Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce of France.

“There would be no tennis without the players. So, it is vital that their voice is heard and that their views are considered when making decisions about how to run the Tour,” said Pierce.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Economy

ITF distributes empowerment kits to 300 graduates in Sokoto

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Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has distributed starter packs to 300 graduates of skill acquisition training programme to enable them set up their businesses in Sokoto.

Inuwa Samaila, ITF Area Manager in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi States, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Sokoto.

Samaila disclosed that the beneficiaries drawn from 24 local government areas of the state, participated in the 2019 skill acquisition programmes of the Fund.

He said the graduates were exposed to various trades during the training exercise ranging between three and six months.

The manager listed the trades to include event management, shoe and bag making, electrical installations, beauty and auto care.

Samaila noted that the Fund paid N5, 000 monthly stipend to the beneficiaries as transport allowances during the training exercise, adding that the starter packs were provided based on the skills of the graduates.

He urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the skills acquired and kits by engaging in productive activities, stressing that being self employed pays better than waiting for white collar jobs.

The manager warned against diversion of the kits, saying that the Fund had adopted proactive mechanism to monitor activities of the beneficiaries.

“We conducted training for 300 participants and we give them starter parks according to the training areas.

“In catering and event management, we train 80 women for three months. We also train 80 women in shoes and bag making for six months.

”We also train another 60 people in domestic electrical installation while others in auto and beauty care,” he said.

Samaila said the participants were selected in a joint collaboration between the Fund and the Sokoto State Ministry of Youths and Sport Development.

According  to him, the Fund accord premium to unemployed youths between 18 and 35- years for training under the programme.

Samaila added that ITF also initiated programmes for graduates of universities and tertiary institutions of education as well as those that never attend school.

“We give curriculum for each trainer and also supervise them to ensure that all required materials for the training is judiciously used and knowledge impacted,” he added.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Rabiu Sani Ali
(NAN)

 

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Economy

ITF trains women on tailoring, fashion design in Kaduna

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ITF trains women on tailoring, fashion design in Kaduna: The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), on Monday in Kaduna, said it had trained 13 vunerable women on tailoring and fashion design.

The Director General (DG) of ITF, Joseph Ari, who disclosed this while speaking at a Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), said that graduation ceremony for the 2019 trainees has been suspended until further notice.

The News Agency Of Nigeria, reports that the suspension was in line with the directives of the Kaduna State Government to avoid any public gathering in view of the dreaded coronavirus currently ravaging the world, and which may pose risk to residents.

Represented by the Kaduna State Area Manager of ITF, Mallam Yahaya Manu, the DG said that WOSEP began in 2017 with 18 states, but has since spread to other states, including Kaduna.

“WOSEP commenced late 2017 with 18 states which form the first phase, this has since spread to other states in 2018 and 2019 one of which is Kaduna,” he said.

The DG added that the main objective of WOSEP was to equip vulnerable women with necessary skills for setting up and managing small scale businesses.

“We as well provide the women with employable skills that will assist them in becoming economically independent to improve their standards of living,” he added.

According to him, Asian countries became technical giants  because they placed skills acquisition on the front burner of their national development plans.

The DG reiterated ITF’s commitment to doing more and being at the forefront of wealth creation and economic diversification.

He called on Kaduna State Government, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and Bank of Industries to monitor and support them with loans or grants in order to achieve the set objectives.

He urged beneficiaries of the training to make the best use of the opportunity they had.

NAN reports that ITF supported the trainees with sewing machines and cash.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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General news

ITF trains 700 youth on InfoTech skills

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Thursday said it has trained 700 youths from the six geopolitical Zone on InfoTech Skills in 2018.

The Director-General of the ITF, Mr  Joseph Ari stated this during the graduation ceremony of the 2018 InfoTec skills empowerment programme held on Thursday in Kaduna.

Ari, who was represented by the Kaduna area manager of ITF, Alhaji Yahaya Aminu said: “the ITF is equally providing the graduating trainees with start up packs and tools to boost their self employability.”

Ari said that the Fund inaugurated the InfoTech Skills Empowerment Programme with the training and certification of youths to make them self reliant and employers of labour.

He explained that the trainees are degree holders selected and equipped with a three month intensive specialized ICT skills.

According to him, 100 graduate trainees selected from each  of the six geopolitical zones benefited from the program.

“The trainings were in three categories, the Advanced Computer Networking,  Networking Certification and Hardware Maintenance and Repair,” he said.

He said 80 per cent of the enrolled trainees passed the certification examination that has  international recognition.

Ari commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the ITF in the implementation of its various skills intervention and empowerment programmes for the benefit of the Nigerian youth.

Ari advised the trainees to take advantage of what they learned by adding value to their lives and contribute to the nation’s economy.

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Economy

ITF decries poor perception, lack of policies on technical skills

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has decried poor perception and absence of clear policies on technical skills acquisition in the country.

Sir Joseph Ari, ITF Director-General who made this known on Thursday in Abuja at its first National Skills Summit in Nigeria, expressed worry over the challenges facing the organisation.

Nigeria News Agency reports that ITF organised the skills summit to provide a forum for a broad spectrum of stakeholders to collectively deliberate on ways and solutions to tackle unemployment and skills acquisition problems in Nigeria.

“Till date, many Nigerians still believe that hands-on skills are a preserve of the poor and disadvantaged in the society as they are viewed as dirty, dreaded and dangerous.

“This perception and other challenges have led to skills shortages in trades and vocational areas that Nigerians should be well equipped to perform,’’ he said.

Ari also decried lack of synergy and co-operation between agencies with mandate for skills development for job creation leading to desperate efforts that were yielding little results.

According to him, he formed his views from a Skills Gap Survey in six priority sectors of the Nigerian economy that was conducted by ITF in liaison with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Ari said that the survey showed that in spite rising unemployment, vacancies still existed in several sectors of the economy that were still reliant on foreign labour to be filled.

According to him, if more than 20 million Nigerians are not employed and yet technicians are imported, the answer can only be that Nigerians have not fully embraced skills acquisition as a sustainable alternative to white collar jobs.

“This mindset and the perception that hands-on skills are for a certain group of Nigerians has to change,’’ he advised.

The ITF boss identified another problem as disconnect between the schools and the needs of the industries.

He said that this formed the subject of a presentation by the Human Capital Group at the Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020 International Conference on the state of the Nigerian educational system.

According to the presentation, the emphasis in Nigerian institutions has been on verbal activity rather than skills acquisition and problem solving activities.

He said the presentation also noted that the educational system had not been tailored to meet developmental needs of the nation.

“Closely related to this is the absence of a reliable Labour Market Information (LMI) that would have guided Nigerians in career choices and institutions of learning on industry needs.

“Consequently, institutions of learning and human capacity development institutions work on a whim, in the dark and without any form of guidance.

“The effect of this is that institutions train potential workers on skills that are not needed by the labour market,’’ he said.

He said in order to address these problems, ITF organised the summit on “Skills for Employability and Job Creation, and Strategies for Developing Employability Skills in Nigeria’’ and “Industry Needs and Education Curricula,” as sub themes.

He expressed the hope that the summit would propound policy guidelines for skills development, identify and assess existing skills development and labour market contexts in Nigeria.

Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the Federal Government had placed a lot of emphasis on skills acquisition as a vehicle for job creation and poverty reduction.

Katagum said skills acquisition was one of the enablers of the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP), adding that it was the path to go as many countries globally have taken similar approaches to reduce unemployment to single digit figures.

Katagum, also the Chairperson of the skills summit lauded the ITF for convening the summit and initiating other novel programmes that have turned around the lives of thousands of Nigerians across the country.

She said that the summit was coming at a crucial time in the country, as the rising unemployment had led to the insecurity witnessed across Nigeria today.

“To address the insecurity challenges, we have to create jobs by equipping Nigerians with skills to take advantage of the policies that have been put in place while striving to align our educational system to the current needs of the country,’’ Katagum said.

 

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Ese E. Ekama
(NAN)

 

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Economy

ITF trained 700 youths on InfoTech in 2019 to bridge skill gap in ICT – DG

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it had in 2019 trained 700 youths in InfoTech as a means of bridging the skill gap in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

 

The Director-General of the fund, Sir Joseph Ari, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Jos at the 2019 ITF Merit Award Ceremony, said the beneficiaries were drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country

 

Ari said that due to the evident gaps in knowledge and skills in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) the Fund initiated the InfoTech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP).

 

He said the trainees whom were mostly degree holders, were carefully selected and equipped with specialised ICT skills, and that they were trained in advanced computer networking, computer networking certification and computer hardware maintenance and repair.

 

He also disclosed that 80 per cent of the trainees that the fund trained passed the certification examination, adding that with the international certification, the beneficiaries could compete for jobs outside the shores of the country.

 

The director-general said in 2016 the ITF in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) conducted skills Gap Survey in six priority sectors of the national economy and it showed that vacancies existed in the service, agriculture, construction and transportation sectors.

 

He said that the survey showed that vacancies were filled by non-Nigerians because of the absence of Nigerians with the requisite technical skills.

 

He said in an effort to bridge the gap, the fund initiated a number of skills acquisition programmes particularly targeted at the sectors with manpower deficiency.

 

Ari further disclosed that the fund had disbursed the sum of N2, 094,407,000 for the students Industrial Training Work Experience scheme (SIWES) in 2019 as student and supervisory allowances.

 

He said that N1,645,454,000.00 was disbursed as student allowances for 142,462 students from 325 tertiary institutions.

 

He said that SIWES which was the brain child of the ITF was initiated to provide students of engineering, technical and allied disciplines with practical experience of the real work situations they were likely to find after graduation.

 

Gov. Simon Lalong in his remarks, commended the fund for training and empowering many Plateau youths.

 

The governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for special duties, Mr Irimiya Werr, said that the ITF was the federal agency in the state that had contributed most to the state in various aspects.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that the ITF Isolo Area Office emerged the best Area Office in training activities in the Category A, while the Abeokuta Area Office emerged as the best training Office in the category B; and the Akure Area Office emerged as the best in Category C.

 

Similarly, the Abuja Area Office emerged as the best Area Office in revenue generation in category A, while the Lagos Area Office and the Gwawalada Area Offices emerged as the best Area Offices in revenue generation in the category B and C, respectively.

 

The Abeokuta Area Office emerged as the best performing Area Office and Training Centre in category A, while Lagos Area Office and Gwawalada Area Offices emerged as the best performing Area Offices and Training Centres in category B and C, respectively.

 

The director-general urged the awardees not to relent in their efforts, but should work proactively for the betterment of the fund.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

 

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General news

ITF trains 200,000 youths in 8 years – DG

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Thursday said that it had in the last eight years exposed  about 200, 000 youths to different employability and entrepreneurial skills.

ITF’s Director-General, Mr Joseph Ari, said this at the graduation ceremony of the 2019 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), in Awka.

Ari said that the NISDP was the fund’s intervention programme to facilitate the Federal Government’s policy on wealth and job creation.

Represented by Malam Suleman Ningi, ITF’s Director of Programmes in Jos, Ari said that no fewer than 11,000 youths were currently benefiting from the skills development programmes in nine states.

“The beneficiaries were trained in shoe and bag making, welding and fabrication, catering and event management, tiling, production and laying of interlock tiles.

“They were also trained in furniture making, domestic electrical wiring and installation, solar energy installation, plumbing and pipe-fitting, and beauty care,’’ he said.

Ari said that ITF would continue to expose young Nigerians to skills acquisition, adding that the initiative was a solution to reducing poverty and unemployment across the country.

ITF’s Area Manager in Anambra State, Mrs Nacy Ekong, said that 200 persons  from the state graduated from the programme.

“Since the inception of this programme in 2012,  no fewer than 3,405 youths spread across the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra have been trained in various skills.

“The trainees were equally coached and mentored by 10 competent trainers, who were stationed in the various centres throughout the duration of the programme.

“Both the trainers and trainees were duly supervised by ITF officials,’’ she said.

She said all the beneficiaries would be given start-up packs as well as provided with access to acquiring loans from the Bank of Industry for their businesses.

Ekong enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the training and start-up packs, and not sell them.

The Anambra State Commissioner for Lands and Physical Infrastructure, Mr Bonaventure Enemali, expressed satisfaction with the success recorded by the programme so far.

Edited /Donald Ugwu

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Economy

ITF says its newly-inaugurated library can be used by JAMB as CBT centre

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The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, says the fund’s newly-inaugurated modern library can be used by the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) as centre for its Computer Based Examination (CBT).

Ari stated this on Friday in Jos at the inauguration of the library and a central store at the fund’s headquarters and 16 classroom blocks at its staff school.

He said that the state-of-the-art library had a 250-capacity base for the CBT and it also accommodated e-learning facilities for Engineering, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Periodicals and Dailies and  office accommodation for staff.

He said the library would also enhance capacity of the Fund’s staff to perform their duties proactively as a training institution.

“Taking into cognisance our position as a learning and development agency, staff of the ITF are expected to be knowledgeable and that can only be achieved through constant research which is possible with a rich modern library,” the director-general said.

According to him, the newly-inaugurated central store will lead to a more efficient and effective supervision for store auditing and easier stock taking.

He said the addition of 16 classrooms to the staff school showed the resolve of the fund to ensure that the pupils were equipped with knowledge and skills for development at a tender age.

Ari said that the school’s curriculum emphasised hands-on skills so as to build the interest of pupils at an early stage.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Richard Adebayo, who inaugurated the projects, commended Sir Ari,  saying  the fund had witnessed unprecedented growth since the director-general assumed office.

Adebayo said the library was very pertinent to the ITF as  a learning and development institution, and that the facility would enable the staff of the fund to effectively equip Nigerians with the requisite skills for employability and entrepreneurship.

He said that provision of the facilities would go a long way in ensuring that the fund continued to play a vital role in the achievement of the policies of the Federal Government.

He assured the director-general that the  federal government would continue to put in place policies that would ensure that organisations like the ITF whose activities had direct impact on the life of Nigerians, thrived.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Abdullahi Yusuf

 

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Economy

Lalong commends ITF’s DG, says skills acquisition way forward for Nigeria

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has commended the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, for transforming and refocusing the fund to respond to the needs of Nigerians  in entrepreneurship and productivity.

Lalong said that  skills acquisition was the way forward for the country.

He made the commendation on Friday in Jos at the inauguration of the ITF’s ultra-modern library, central store and 16 classrooms in the ITF staff school.

He said since the assumption of Ari as the director-general of the fund, thousands of Nigerian youths had been empowered with cutting edge skills in entrepreneurship and employability in line with President Buhari’s policy on poverty eradication and wealth creation.

The governor disclosed that over 1000 plateau youths had benefitted from the fund’s National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) in various skills with start-up packs.

He said that most of the beneficiaries were currently entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

He said skills acquisition was the way to go as the impact was evident in the reduction of unemployment.

Lalong said that beyond the empowerment of youths with skills, the fund had also contributed toward uplifting the living conditions of its immediate community and in the education sector of the state.

He said that the Fund had constructed and inaugurated two boreholes in Rantya and Hwolshe communities and also trained 200 teachers at no cost to the government.

He stated that the fund had also donated a sickbay at the St John Vianney Seminary and renovated and equipped an ICT Center at the Government Technical College, Bukuru .

The governor expressed his administration’s unflinching support in collaborating with the ITF’s initiatives especially as they concerned  Human Capital development, saying  this was in tandem with the state’s economic rebirth vision.

“The doors of the Plateau Government will always be opened to the ITF for collaboration because we believe that when we empower our youths with skills, then we would be able to address unemployment and insecurity,”he said.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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