The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is to establish three centres for the production of automotive parts, its Acting Director-General, Mr Dickson Onuoha, said in Jos on Sunday.Onuoha told newsmen that the centres, to be located in Badagry, Lagos, Nnewi in Anambra, and Kaduna, would also serve as training centres for the training of specialists on auto parts repairs and maintenance.
“Establishing the centres is in line with the Federal Government’s automotive policy; aside boosting technological knowledge, they will ensure massive employment,” he said.
Onouha said that ITF was also working towards establishing more skills acquisition centres across the country, adding that three centres, specialising in oil and gas, were already in the offing.
The ITF boss regretted that 60 per cent of Nigeria’s youths were unemployed, and expressed the fear that crime and violence would worsen if urgent steps were not taken to check that.
“The World Bank conducted a survey in 2012, which revealed that 60 per cent of unemployed people in Nigeria are youths between the age bracket of 15 and 35 years.
“This group constitutes 32 per cent of the population, which also represents 60 per cent of the work force.
The study also revealed that 38 per cent of youths, aged 15 to 20, have neither formal education nor skills; that figure goes up to 64 per cent in the North-East and North-West,’’ Onuoha explained.
He revealed that a national skills gap survey conducted by the ITF had also revealed that out of every 1000 graduate applicants applying for industrial jobs, none is likely to have the appropriate skills required.
“The establishment of training centres will help in addressing the skills challenge and also reduce Nigeria’s over-dependence on foreign countries for skilled labour,” he said.