NDE begins school-to-work training programme for students
Senior secondary students would now have the opportunity to be trained in vocational skills during their long vacation by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The Acting Director General of the NDE, Kunle Obayan, while speaking in Abuja explained that the Directorate would also establish ‘job corps’ to provide the manpower for the infrastructural development initiative of the Federal Government.
Obayan submitted that the NDE is embarking on the out-of-school-to-work initiative to tackle unemployment at the root saying joblessness begins at the secondary school level.
His words: “The NDE would soon roll out school-to-work programme for students in Senior Secondary School two and three. We have come to know that unemployment starts from that level and our plan going forward is to do more work on the junior secondary students. The plan is to involve them in some productive ventures when they are not in school especially during the long vacation, they would go for training in our training centres instead of staying at home and idle away. The NDE would also give them some stipends to enable them come into the training facilities and then go back home after training. We would profile them and see what skill set is good for them. In fact, they would do different ones in the two years period so by the time they are leaving the facilities, they would have acquire two sets of skills.
“By the time they are in SS3 and possibly be waiting for their result, the NDE would then attach them to firms for that period. By the time they finish the attachment programme, they would be ready to do something instead of them roaming the streets.”
The NDE Acting Director General hinted that the programme is due to begin 2016 summer during the long vacation.
The NDE boss explained that ‘Job Corps’ entails refreshing people that had been trained before but were not resettled in construction skills.
“When re-trained in construction work, we would get them ready and post them on our website for possible work. But even before that, we would facilitate work opportunities between them and construction companies.
“With the massive infrastructure deficit we have in this country, the Federal Government would soon be embarked upon in all the states of the federation according to the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Fashola. So, we want to get the necessary manpower ready for the work,” he said.
He hinted that under this ‘job corps, the NDE is moving into formalizing those artisans just sitting under the trees and expect customers to come for them.
He said: “Most Nigerians are also afraid to go and fetch workers under the trees before they cannot vouch for their characters. But under this platform, every artisan would be known and fixed address also known. With that, they would be treated like professionals they are because they are under a platform of the NDE.”
In the meantime, the Directorate has begun the training of unskilled and unemployed persons in various vocational skills in rural communities nationwide under the Community Based Training Scheme (CBTS).
The training, which is in its third year of implementation, will last three months. It is also unique because the skills set are environment specific and demand driven.
The NDE stated that the training is designed to check rural to urban migration, provide marketable skills for school leavers and dropouts with a view to generating employment opportunities for them which will lead to wealth creation, poverty reduction and equally curb societal crimes and youth restiveness occasioned by unemployment.
A rural community has been selected from one of the three Senatorial Districts per state for the implementation of the scheme countrywide. About 1,850 youths particularly those from poor and vulnerable households will be provided the opportunity to acquire specialized skills that are in high demand within their immediate localities at the rate of 50 persons per state and the FCT.
The deputy director of Information and Public Relation of the NDE, Edmund Onwuliri, explained that the strategy is aimed at improving the rural labour market and matching job demand and supply inter-relationships.
He added: “The CBTS will give prominence to emerging skills within the projected growth sectors like construction skills such as tiling, POP works, interlocking stones, screeding among other skills. The Directorate would resettle all successful persons at the end of the training period with equipment and cash as soft loans to commence small-scale businesses of their own using the freshly acquired skills. The NDE plans to run two more cycles of the CBTS initiative before the end of 2016.”