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The Industrial Training Fund has achieved over 70 per cent job placement for its trainees across major sectors of the economy, the Director-General, ITF, Dr. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko has said.
She said the ITF’s focus was to ennsure 100 per cent employment for trainees that benefited from various trainings conducted in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association and other organisations.
Chukkas-Onaeko spoke in Washington, DC, United States, while briefing stakeholders on the ITF-NECA collaboration.
She said, “Our focus is to achieve 100 percent employment for all trainees that come on the platform. And so far, I would say that we have done quite well.Up to 70 percent get retained by the companies that work with us to train these people, and some go to sister companies, other companies that offer the same services, and they get employed.”
Over 74,000 Nigerians have been trained in various vocational and technical areas under the 1,000 per state training scheme, while about one million benefitted from the overall ITF training projects, in-house and across industries in the last one year.
The DG noted that the ITF would continue to increase the number of trainees in the coming years to further address the issues of unemployment in the country. Already the process of training two million annually has commenced, according to ITF.
“I have told my team that we should look at training and working on getting jobs for at least 50 percent of four million people to be trained. That is because the need is huge. If we don’t do this considering the number of youths that graduate from the universities every year, from the polytechnics and even the secondary schools, the unemployment rate will continue to grow at a very high rate,” the DG said.
She added that the ITF would adopt a holistic approach in tackling skills problems and called for the cooperation of both the public and private sector stakeholders in ensuring the right skills for sustainable development of Nigeria’s economy.
“The number of those living below poverty line is also high and we just need to do everything possible to reduce it. Because the figures are high, we need positive collaborations to achieve success, which is why we have entered into collaborations with different stakeholders. With concerted efforts and innovative thinking, we will get there,” she stated.
While restating the Fund’s commitment to job creation and poverty alleviation, the ITF boss said it was the ITF’s responsibility to lay the foundation for sustainable growth and development through training for impact.
The DG added that the Fund was collaborating with youths to identify their needs in a bid to work out solutions to leverage on their comparative advantages to develop critical sectors.
“Right now, we are engaging more of the youths to work out solutions, to help us identify their needs. I have worked with them to carry out some feasibility studies on some two areas that are emerging and they are excited about the work to do,” she said, even as she was quick to add that ITF trainees were not just being trained for the Nigerian employers alone.
She said, “We are not just training for the Nigerian industries. We believe that when the youths are empowered and they want to go to Europe, US, Asia, wherever, they should go well skilled, ready to add value to that society.
“So, my focus is to ensure that ITF is well-positioned to deliver effectively, efficiently on its mandate, which is to build indigenous capacity sufficient to meet the needs of the industry, both in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.”

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