By G9ija

Seven hundred and forty-eight youths in Imo State are undergoing training in vocational skills in Owerri, the capital.

The training, organised by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), will see some of the beneficiaries being empowered with start-up kits at the end of the programme.

NDE Acting Director General Mallam Abubakar Fikpo, speaking at the launch of its Vocational Skills Development (VSD) scheme in Owerri, said of the 748 youths, 540 would be trained under the Basic National Open Apprenticeship (B-NOAS).

While 100 youths would be trained in sustainable agricultural development training scheme, Fikpo added that 54 youths among the beneficiaries would be trained under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship (A-NOAS), with another 54 receiving training under the directorate’s Environmental Beautification Training Scheme.

The DG, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Imo State, Mrs. Ngozi Ihenacho, said the trainees would be given a certificate upon completion of their three-month training.

“Under A-NOAS, trainees upgrade their knowledge of basic skills acquired under A-NOAS and are guaranteed a certificate as well as access to start-up loan upon completion of the training,” he said.

Fikpo said the Environmental Beautification Training Scheme was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce unemployment through skill acquisition and resettling of successful trainees to enable them start their own businesses.

He said that the 54 trainees were recruited in Imo, two persons per local government, as there are 27 councils in the state.

He described the exercise as a laudable achievement of the Federal Government in job creation through skill acquisition.

The DG, who noted that the NDE would not relent in its constitutional mandate of imparting skills that could translate into self-employment, said: “Today’s programme marks a milestone in the history of Rural Employment Promotion (REP) schemes designed to reflect emerging trends to grow rural employment through agribusiness engagements.”

He said the programme was in line with the Federal Government’s policy in agriculture for employment, wealth creation and food sufficiency.

“We will work together with the state government for best results.”