ITF launches SUPA training, to empower 5m artisans annually

”Every skills training undertaken by ITF must lead to reputable international certification which in turn, guarantees measurable improved livelihood of graduands,”

ITF launches SUPA training, to empower 5m artisans annually

Itf launches supa training, to empower 5m artisans annuallyThe Federal Government has expressed commitment to empowering no fewer than five million artisans yearly.

It also warned against quack training centres across the country.

Dr Afiz Ogun, Director-General of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), said this at the inaugural meeting on Implementation of Skill Up Artisans (SUPA) programme for Executives of Enlisted Skills training Centers (ESTCs).

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Ogun said  the training was to upskill the talent of artisans in their various fields of profession.

He said the training would have its phase of selection, adding that about 100 thousand artisans would be taken in each of the phases.

He said the first phase would commence before the end of June, adding that the training would transform the skills acquisition space in Nigeria.

“The training will be phase by phase and bit by bit; we will be selecting about 100,000 artisans for the training.

“When we are through with the number, we select another phase, we must make sure we cover the five million artisans every year, just as the presidency directed us.

“The names and various centres where the trainings will commence will be published in various national daily newspapers and training starts immediately.

“The criteria for the training is that the person must be a Nigerian, all artisans are our candidates. Those who registered first will start the first phase.

“The registration portal opened from January till March 15, 2024, we went out to all senatorial districts to out screen so that we can move ahead,” he said.

The director-general said the aim of the programme was to work with relevant stakeholders, and that ITF would be onboarding to become the best skills training centers of international standards in Nigeria.

“We will guarantee a steady stream of trainees for whom ITF will be financially responsible but side by side we will implement rigorous facility and process inspections to ensure that our standards are met.

” ITF is currently working out partnerships with the most reputable international awarding bodies so that certifications issued after our training programme will give graduands a variety of options in terms of work opportunities and employability both locally and globally.

“The era of training just for the sake of it, or issuance of Certificate of Attendance/Competence is gone and gone for good.

”Every skills training undertaken by ITF must lead to reputable international certification which in turn, guarantees measurable improved livelihood of graduands,” he said.

Ogun condemned the act of organising training centres by some people without requisite approval from the ITF.

“Another point I must address is mushrooming of Skills Training Centers in Nigeria without requisite approval by ITF.

“It is troubling to note that all over the country, persons undertake so-called trainings in both technical and vocational trainings without prior approval of their training curriculum, manual and programme by ITF.

“As a result, there is no way to ascertain the quality of learning being passed on to graduands who pay exorbitant prices for these trainings.

” This has created a circle of entrenched quackery which ITF is set up to put an end to.

“We now have an avalanche of foreign training institutions offering some kind of technical or vocational training without due approval of the programmes and processes.

” Even where such foreign set ups have the competence to undertake these trainings, their unregulated presence represents a loss of revenue by local players.

“ITF will be issuing the necessary regulations on these subject matters very soon and our enforcement efforts will also commence in earnest.

“Today signposts a new dawn at ITF and in the skills training space in Nigeria and we need all hands on deck  to turn the tide and change the narratives,” he said.

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, Coordinator, Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Practitioners (NARAP), also lauded the organisers of the training.

“Particularly in the area of my own craft, which is refrigeration and air-conditioning, in the area of ozone depletion, if this training is centered toward handling of refrigerants and professionalism in refrigeration and air-conditioning, it will help”.