The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) says it is ready to partner with the organised private sector in promoting skills acquisition and youth empowerment programmes.
Hajiya Khadijatu Mudi, the 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 empowerment,” she said.
She said that the annual interactive forum had always provided a platform to interact and share ideas with critical stakeholders.
She noted 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 in the country.
“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.
The Director-General of ITF, Joseph Ari, who was represented by the Fund’s Zonal Director, Mrs Suleyol Fred-Chagu, said that the organisation was set up to promote the country’s industrial growth.
He, however, stressed that ITF required the contributions of its stakeholders to enable it to achieve its set goals and fulfil its mandate.
Ari said that equipping youths with necessary skills for survival would enable them to 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 could stimulate the country’s economic growth if they had an enabling working environment.
He tasked MSMEs on the importance of doing things differently in order to survive and thrive in the COVID-19 pandemic period.
He urged them to adopt better customer relations strategies and improved business modules, while seeking ways of embracing new ideas such as virtual selling.
A participant, Mr Bidemi Ajala, commended the ITF for organising the forum which, he said, would spur him to re-strategise and improve his business model, particularly with regard to customer service relationship and the need to adopt virtual business ideas.