By G9ija

INTELS Nigeria Limited has completed the training of a fresh batch of 40 women under its Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS).

WEPSS is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative established by INTELS in 2013 to empower 5,000 community women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring. The beneficiaries are trained in two batches every year.

Since inception seven years ago, no fewer than 1,400 women drawn from various communities across the country have benefited from the empowerment scheme.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony for beneficiaries of the 2020 Batch ‘A’ training held at the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne Port, Rivers State, recently,  the Regional Human Resources Manager, Mr. Michael Ndon, said WEPSS was designed to make the beneficiaries “future employers”.

He said: “Graduation of trainees has been a tradition for us because INTELS cares. This is one of our empowerment schemes for the communities around us and we are very happy that over the years, so many people have graduated from this scheme and we are also aware that many of them are doing very well.

“We realised that there was a need to empower the people, to create future entrepreneurs. This is not about just giving fish, but teaching how to fish so that they become future employers.” While commending the WEPSS trainers for their commitment to the realisation of the scheme despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic, Ndon urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the knowledge acquired in the course of their training.

“This year has particularly been a difficult year because of COVID-19. We thank the team of trainers who, during this period, were able to get the training done and we are now witnessing the graduation.

“The intention of Management is that this exercise should be continued. But how will we be encouraged to do this? It is only when the trainees after leaving here continue to fulfill the other objectives of this programme to create more entrepreneurs. We want to encourage the trainees to take the programme very seriously so that when we look back, we will be encouraged to do more,” he said.

The Project Manager for WEPPS, Nancy Freeborn, expressed satisfaction with the follow-up exercise carried out on trainees who have graduated from the scheme; many of whom she said are now engaged by reputable fashion houses.