6 September 2011
NO fewer than 4,147 youths in Akwa Ibom were trained in various trades by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in the state, between January and August.
The beneficiaries, according to the agency, included 3,460 youths who were trained under the Small Scale Enterprises (SSE) scheme.
The Coordinator of the Directorate in the state, Mrs Patience Osunkwo, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Sunday.
She also said that that 500 youths were currently undergoing vocational training in the area.
"The scheme provides vocational skill acquisition training for unemployed school leavers and drop-outs in over 13 trades across the state," she said.
Osunkwo said that NDE was determined to stop the youths from roaming the streets by engaging them in various skills training and entrepreneurial programmes.
She said that the directorate
's Rural Employment Programme (REP) and the Special Public Works Scheme (SPW) had engaged 100 youths and 87 youths, respectively, in the state, during the period.
In addition, she said that the agency
's Women Employment Branch (WEB) had trained and equipped many women in the state to be self-reliant.
She added that "recently, 50 women were equipped with sewing machines and take-off grants of N10,000 each".
The coordinator appealed to corporate organisations to assist the agency in its Graduate Attachment Programme by accepting tertiary institutions
' graduates on a six-month attachment to enable them gain some experience.
She said if the companies found the conduct of the youths satisfactory at the end of the six months, "we will impress it on them to retain the youths and help to reduce unemployment".
She called on political office holders, NGOs, companies and well-meaning people in the state to assist in the resettlement of graduates of NDE
's training programmes.
"We need to resettle these youths. When they are settled, they will become employers of labour", she said, adding, "this will go a long way in reducing unemployment and crime in the state".
Osunkwo commended the state government and training partners for their cooperation toward the realisation of the objectives of NDE, and appealed to the government to provide it with a vehicle for monitoring activities.