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Skills gap: Assessment report harps on career guidance

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A report on skills gap assessment has identified effective careers guidance to reduce the qualitative employment gap that plagues Nigeria’s economy. Jointly put together by Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), it suggested to employers to encourage their employees to volunteer to go to schools and colleges to give insights into different careers to help address mismatches in young people’s career aspirations.

Launched recently in Abuja, the report focuses on skills gap in six priority sectors of the economy. Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Edeth Sunday Akpan, said Nigeria was richly endowed with abundant human and natural resources, adding that harnessing the potential for sustainable economic growth was its biggest challenge. “More efforts have been deployed in the development of a critical mass of technically skilled manpower in the nation to attain industrial and socio-economic growth without it, of the nation’s economy, as evidenced in the diversification and industrialization policy of the federal government,” noted the minuter.

“It was in the light of the above discrepancies that the ministry mandated the ITF to conduct a survey on skills assessments in the Nigerian economy.” The survey, therefore, took a giant step by collaborating with UNIDO to conduct the study. six priority sectors where Nigeria has comparative advantage: agro-allied, construction, oil and gas, metal and Solid minerals; light manufacturing and services. “

Earlier in his remarks, Director- General, ITF, Sir. Joseph Ari, described the report as a work of intensive engagement dated several years back. “The report being presented today is therefore the work of years of toil of several agencies and individuals, who despite all odds strove to produce a document, which to my mind is a reasonable representation of their brief,” said Ari.

“The findings of this report are captured in three broad headings: vacancies, skills gap and up skilling. Other vacancies, the report observed that despite soaring unemployment even among graduates of tertiary institutions, vacancies still exist especially in professional trade areas such as plant operators , artisans and technicians who still can not be filled by Nigerians because of their lack of requisite skills. “

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