ITF to unveil second phase of reviewed vision

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF)  says it has concluded arrangements to commence the implementation of its second phase plan, christened” ITF Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation.”

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The fund said this was  part of its continued efforts to improve  service delivery and facilitate the actualisation of its mandate.

This is contained in a statement by  the Director-General of the fund,  Mr Joseph Ari,  issued on Tuesday in Jos.

Ari said the first phase of the vision, which was implemented between 2016 and early 2020, had  equipped over 500,000 Nigerians with skills and over 70 per cent of them were currently gainfully employed or had become successful entrepreneurs.

According to him, the second phrase plan is 100 per cent home grown and is targeted at rectifying the pitfalls  observed in the implementation of the first phase.

He further  revealed that the Fund sought  to build on the achievements of the first phase and support the initiatives of the Federal Government especially in the Agricultural Sector.

The director-general also disclosed that the second phrase of the plan, would commence immediately and terminate in 2024.

He said the second phrase would focus on nine key areas of the fund’s activities which were: Direct Training Services, Revenue Generation and Sustainable Funding and Resource Utilisation.

The other areas of focus included,  Special Intervention Programmes, Human Capital Development, Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Research and Development, Automation of Business Processes and other Programmes/Services.

He explained that  the Direct Training Services, which were the core mandate of the fund, would focus on Curriculum Development, E-Learning, Consultancy Services, Standardisation and Certification, Re-engineering Business Development Support (BDS).

Ari further disclosed that the direct training services would also cover Services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Technical and Vocational Skills Programmes, Certification of Apprentices, Technicians and Craftsmen as well as Performance and Productivity Improvement Training.

He said  that training programmes would be developed for the Maritime and Oil and Gas sectors that were hitherto not given priority attention by the fund.

He said that to ensure the availability of the requisite infrastructure was  in place for the expected rise in activities, the fund had concluded arrangements for the procurement of three additional mobile training  units.

The director-general said the fund would establish vocational wings  in Awka, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Akure, Gusau and Minna Area offices which would  train Nigerians in needed trades in their locality, adding that efforts would also be stepped up toward repositioning the Centre for Excellence in Jos for effective service delivery.

He also said  that in order to drive the federal government’s efforts to develop the agricultural value chain for job and wealth creation and ensure food security, the fund would identify arable lands owned by the fund to establish demonstration farms, which would be used for the training of extension workers and youths nationwide.

He said in view of the funding challenges that  emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund would explore creative and sustainable funding options including approaching multilateral Agencies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) World Bank, African Development Bank as well as other donor organisations that supported some of the activities conducted by the ITF.

Ari also said that  all ITF facilities across the country would be fumigated while face masks and hand sanitisers would be procured for all staff among other COVID-19 interventions.

He urged the staff of the fund to embrace the plan and work assiduously toward its actualisation.

“We have talked enough, now is the time for action especially in view of the challenges that Nigeria, like the rest of the world is facing right now. I, therefore, urge all staff to put all hands on deck toward the actualisation of the plan,” he said.(NAN)

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