Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has called on youths to take full advantage of various ongoing free vocational and entrepreneurship skills development programmes to develop themselves and become relevant in the nation’s economic redevelopment plans and the 21st-Century global digital economy.
The Governor spoke at the graduation ceremony for 119 trainees of Igbo Oluwo Vocational Training Centre, Ikorodu, noting that youths need to acquire essential skills in order to contribute their quota to the ongoing economic redevelopment plans rather than waiting endlessly for white-collar jobs.
Represented at the event by the Special Adviser on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, the Governor maintained that the empowerment programmes targeted at youths had the potentials to change their economic fortunes and bring financial independence.
“Fundamentally, our various free vocational and entrepreneurship skills development programmes are aimed at developing the potentials of our youths to make them relevant in the 21st-century global digital economy and make them employers of labour. This we believe, as a Government, will address the issue of youth restiveness, reduce crimes and other vices capable of undermining development efforts across the country”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
While congratulating the 119 trainees of Igbo Oluwo Vocational Centre, the Governor disclosed that a total of 730 trainees have successfully completed their Vocational Competency Development Training Programmes across the seven centres in the State.
Sanwo-Olu restated that youth development is crucial to achieving Security and Governance pillar of his administration’s development agenda, disclosing that plans are in place for beneficiaries of various entrepreneurship skills and vocational programmes to secure start-up capital from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
He urged other unemployed youths to take advantage of the free vocational and entrepreneurship training by registering in their neighbourhoods.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Agency for Mass Education in the State, Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesanwo said that the free training had remained an avenue for addressing the issue of poverty in society, adding that some of the beneficiaries, who were fast learners, started making money right from the vocational school with their newly acquired skills.
Two of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Mariam Abbass and Miss Sandra Nwagabara expressed gratitude to the Lagos State Government for making the programme non-discriminatory, pointing out that residents irrespective of State, religion, political affinity or tribe were admitted for the skills acquisition exercise.
The highlight of the programme was the presentation of prizes to trainees who distinguished themselves in their various vocations.