Director general of the agency, Industrial Training Fund, ITF, Mrs. Juliet Chukkas- Onaeko, has disclosed that the agency had, in the last one year, trained 37,000 persons under its National Industrial Skill Development Programme, NISDP.
Chukkas-Onaeko, who stated this at a media roundtable with members of CICAN, in Abuja, noted that the figure comprised 1,000 trainees from each state of the federation.
She said the programme covered capacity building in different sectors of the economy as part of the agency’s mandate of improving the country’s industrial competitiveness through skills development.
She said the scope of the programme would be expanded in partnership with the private sector participants in the next batch expected to take off in the first quarter of 2016.
According to her, “One good thing that happened to us during the last administration was that they had a presidential job board in place and ITF was the secretariat.
She said, “We were able to come up with a plan to harmonise the training facilities we have across the country for this purpose.
The director general said a survey we conducted, our data base currently has over 800 training centres nationwide, and we are hoping that these can become ITF satellite centres under the programme.’’
She further stated that the agency was retooling NISDP to focus on job creation and employability in line with the current administration’s change agenda.
She said data from the ongoing National Skills Gap Survey being conducted by the ITF, in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, would help in this regard.
Chukkas-Onaeko also announced some initiatives, including the ITF Job Portal and e-learning platform, to be launched in the first quarter of 2016 to further advance the agency’s mandate.
She said the ITF Job Portal is meant to help us showcase our trainees and those from other places who desire to be on that platform to potential employers.
According to her, “It will contain the details of trainees, including their competences, so that potential employers can be well guided in their recruitment decisions.
The portal will also serve as an e-commerce platform for our trainees to sell their products.
`A lot of them produce different things but they don’t have a platform to sell them even in the local market.’’
She explained that the portal would also help them to interface with regulatory agencies like NAFDAC and SON to have their products certified for acceptability both locally and internationally.
She said that ITF trainees could produce goods of international standard, adding that the agency would soon sign an agreement with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC, to market their products abroad.
The ITF boss stated that the e-learning platform would make available over 1,000 courses/programmes that people could log on to and study from the comfort of their homes.
She said the platform would be designed to simulate practical sessions online to reduce pressure on the agency’s physical training centres.
“In trying to meet our target of training two million people per annum, we need to go electronic or virtual, and that is why we are introducing that as well.”

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