ITF solicits private sector partnership in skills acquisition



The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) says it is ready to partner with the organised private sector in promoting skills acquisition and youth empowerment programmes.

Hajia Khadijatu Mudi, Area Manager, ITF, Jos office, said on Friday in Jos that the programmes were targeted at reducing the socio-economic challenges in the country.

Mudi spoke at the Fund’s 2020 interactive forum with its stakeholders.

She said that the ITF had realised that government alone could not bridge the existing youth unemployment gap.

“That is why we need to partner with the organised private sector in promoting skills acquisition for youth’s empowerment,” she said.

She said that the annual interactive forum had always provided a platform to interact and share ideas with critical stakeholders, adding that the theme of the forum “Sustaining the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: a panacea to COVID -19 survival”, was apt and timely “in view of current economic challenges”.

“The ITF is doing its best; we are contributing our quota toward equipping youths with relevant technical skills through various intervention programmes that will make them self-reliant and job creators,” she said.

ITF Director-General, Sir Joseph Ari, who was represented by the fund’s Zonal Director, Mrs Suleyol Fred-Chagu, said that the outfit was setup to promote industrial growth in Nigeria.

He said that ITF required contributions of its stakeholders to achieve set goals to meet its mandate.

Ari said that equipping youths with necessary skills for survival would enable them contribute their quota to the nation’s economy by being self reliant, especially with the current youth bulge.

The keynote speaker, Dr Linus Vem, a lecturer at the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Jos, said that 85 per cent of the industrial jobs in the country were owned by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) .

Vem said that MSMEs would aid economic growth if they had a conducive working environment.

He tasked MSMEs on the importance of doing things differently in order to thrive in the COVID-19 pandemic period.

He enjoined them to adopt better customer service relationship, improved business modules, and seek ways of embracing new ideas such as virtual selling.

A participant, Mr Bidemi Ajala, commended the ITF for organising the forum which had provided him the imperative to restrategise and improve his business model “especially in customer service relationship and on the need to adopt virtual business ideas”. (NAN)