The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in collaboration with the World Bank on Thursday commenced the training of 2,000 unemployed youths in various skills.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State , while declaring the training programme open at St. Gregory Universty, Uturu, said that the state placed so much premium on skills acquisition by the youths.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Ude Oko Chukwu, urged the trainees to take the programme serious as it would turn around their lives.
He thanked the World Bank for their support and commended the Federal Government for its commitment, adding the state would continue to partner with them.
The training programme is under the Skills for Job (S4J) component of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO).
The NDE Coordinator in Abia, Mrs Buchi Ojei, said YESSO is a seven-year long programme of the Federal Government and some states that have paid their counterpart funds, including Abia.
She , said that the S4J is one of the three components of YESSO designed to increase access of the poor and vulnerable as well strengthening the social safety nets system.
The coordinator , said that the 2,000 trainees were selected from the single register in six local government areas, saying that the regsiter was generated by the Abia State Planning Commission.
Ojei, explained that the three-month programme covering, welding, fabrication, installation, among others, was designed to arm the youths with various skills that can help them secure a better future.
According to her, the participants will also embark on six months apprenticeship/internship training during which they will be placed on a monthly stipend of N7,500.
She lauded Gov. Ikpeazu for paying the counterpart fund to enable the teeming unemployed youths of the state to benefit from the programme.
Ojei said that Abia was the only beneficiary state in the South East.
In his remarks, Prof. Greogory Ibe, the Chancellor/Founder of Gregory Universty, while assuring the participants of the universty support, urged them to avail themselves of the rare opportunity for the betterment of their future.
A trainee, Ejike Chiagozie, from Umunneochi Local Government Area , expressed gratitude to the World Bank and NDE for coming up with the training programme.