The German government says it has concluded plans to train 10,000 Nigerian youths in Ogun and Plateau states between September and June 2018 to enable them acquire vocational skills.
Mr Horst Bauernfeind, an official of GIZ, the German national agency for international cooperation, stated this in Abeokuta on Thursday at the inauguration of the committee for the monitoring of the initiative in Ogun.
Bauernfeind said that the project would provide demand-oriented vocational training for young persons in the agriculture and construction sectors considered to be two areas with high growth and employment potentials.
He further said that the gesture was part of an ongoing development cooperation between Nigeria and Germany based on bilateral agreement.
The German official, who said that 5,000 youths would be trained in Ogun, explained that his team had already embarked on an assessment tour of vocational centres and technical colleges in the state to identify possible gaps and areas of needs.
He added that the team had also organised workshops on vocational skills development for the agriculture and construction industries to aggregate the demands of the stakeholders and develop a programme strategy.
“The project aims to improve the vocational skills and knowledge of young Nigerians to increase their employment prospects .
“The project will work in three activity areas namely: increase training at the level of micro and small enterprises as well as improve the capacity of training providers and public private dialogue on vocational education and training in Ogun,’’ he said.
Bauernfeind said that the committee made up of critical stakeholders in agriculture and construction sectors in the state would ensure the alignment of the project with partner strategies for full implementation.
The Chairman of the committee, Rev. Peter Akinola, said he was concerned about the millions of Nigerian youths who had remained unemployable.
Akinola, a former Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, however, expressed optimism that the training would reverse the trend.
He called on government to refocus and redirect policies in order to priotise vocational education and training among the youths.
Mrs. Hafsat Abiola–Castelo, who is a co-chairperson of the committee, said the body was committed to the sustainability of the project.
Abiola–Castelo, who is the Special Assistant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Trade and Investment, also pledged government’s support for the programme.
She said the committee planned to partner the organised private sector to defray the cost of the training per participant to make it affordable for more young persons after the exit of the Germans.
“The training costs N100,000 per participant in the construction aspect which has been fully paid by the German government.
“The committee intends to engage some partners to defray the cost and reduce it to about N25, 000 so that those who have been trained by the Germans can retrain others at affordable cost at the end of their own programme,” she said.
She called on the youths, particularly females, to take advantage of the programme to improve their living standard.
“Our young women should not abandon the training because they are relevant in the value chain of the construction sector, particularly in the area of interior decoration as well as in cassava processing aspect of agriculture,” she said.