Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
As part of the efforts to fight unemployment among educated Nigerian youths, the Federal government is to expend a whopping sum of N2 billion on the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) before the end of the year.
The Project Director of the Scheme, Mr. Dennis Chukwu, disclosed this in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital during a Career Development and Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Interns recently.
Chukwu revealed that the scheme, being funded by the Federal Ministry of Finance, is currently training about 2,000 graduate interns across the country on skills and career development that would make them employers of labour, rather than job seekers.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government decided to sustain the scheme initiated by the immediate past government owing to his desire to banish unemployment ravaging the potential of Nigerian graduates by exposing them to trainings and opportunities in every sector of the economy.
Chukwu said the scheme had excited 35,000 interns, with thousands of them securing jobs in the civil service and in the business sector and contributing immensely to the growth of the economy.
“Many secured credit facilities and grants through YouWin, and other sources to expand businesses they set up using GIS stipends and many have set up through cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into SMEs; and rather than seeking for jobs, they are now employers.
“In view of its prospect for skills building and job creation, the scheme has developed special programmes for non-oil sector. GIS has entered into special partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organisations to have graduates trained in ICT, agriculture, community health, construction, financial inclusion and the feedbacks of their performances with employers have been encouraging”, he said.
A GIS Consultant, Mr. Victor Ivoke pointed out that it is imperative for job seekers to acquire special skills in order to get good values in the job market.
Ivoke, in his presentation, added that as difficult as situation is in getting jobs in Nigeria is, that graduate with special skills are still being employed with blue chip companies with high pay.
“There is need for job seekers to look for opportunities and in getting opportunities, you must have special skills and that is what we are exposing our unemployed youths to through this scheme.
“There should be need for packaging of employees, so that you can get employees to a good job market, which means you will be the one to tell your employers your wage. It is sad that some of the job seekers even get jobs that can’t sustain them and this is because they didn’t have special skills”, he lamented.
Ivoke told the participants to use the monthly stipends being paid them by the federal government in the course of the 12 months training, saying some of their counterparts had hit the labour market and made big exploits through the stipend without taking credit facility.