By Yakubu Busari,Jos
Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Dr Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, has said trainees under the Technical Skills Development Project, which it implements in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) would soon get international certification.
Dr. Chukkas-Onaeko made the disclosure while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the inaugural set of automobile technicians trained by Truck Masters Nigeria Ltd, under the ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP).
She said the ITF was currently working on getting an international certification programme for its trainees to be able to work anywhere in the world.
According to her, the Fund has also been working with various established players in various industries like agriculture, oil and gas, and automobile maintenance in order to train more youths.
She said that ITF’s continuous training through these collaborations was targeted at supporting the government to reduce the rate of unemployment by placing technical education in the front burner in the nation.
“I want to congratulate the graduating students, been the first set under the Automobile and Heavy Duty Maintenance and Technician Programme.
“With the government’s automobile policy, I think this is the best time to take up such a task as taking up a skill in automobile industry, especially for heavy duty trucks which are more complex.
“This is a major move to support the government because it is reducing the rate of unemployment among the youths.
“Most importantly, it has been helping the players in the various industries to raise new breeds of excellently skilled youths to work for them here, instead of relying on expatriates.
“The ITF has been working on certifications for our trainees so that they can work anywhere in the world, because our programmes seem not to be enough. The certification, when ready will have our trainees to take exams to qualify them for a diploma in the field of their training.
“This is necessary because it has been difficult to attract young people to technical skills because of the poor remuneration and recognition that the sector of education has been suffering.
“We have therefore been training our students not only on skilled manpower, but alongside good work ethics, good customer care, and also entrepreneurial skills,” she said.
Managing Director, Truckmasters Ltd, Mr Tony Arenyeka, lauded the ITF-NECA collaboration for impacting in the lives of the youths through the technical skills acquisition.
Arenyeka said Truckmasters Academy trained the youths in Electronics, Mechanical Panel beating and spraying, and workshop administration.
Also speaking at the event, the project manager, TSDP, Mrs Helen Jemerigbe, said the training was a baby of the project, which has been on for six years.
Jemerigbe said the project had been working with 12 companies, and technical colleges all over the country, and the training with Truckmasters Nigeria Ltd was the result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2014.
She also said the project, through ITF had also been responsible for the lunch, stipends, and tools and some of the infrastructure needed for the training environment.
She said the project has also been working with some of the technical colleges across the country, especially in Lagos state.
“The project provides tools, lunch, and monthly stipends for the trainees. We have also constructed training workshops for some of the schools we are partnering with.
“The project is not only to teach the skills, to work for organisations, but also taught entrepreneurial skills to establish their own maintenance companies.
The best among the graduands, Adebayo Abass will represent Nigeria in Dubai after he came first in a test by Hyundai among 100 technicians across Africa.