• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Elumelu urges skill update for youths to transform Nigeria

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Tony Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holdings, has stressed that the skill and chances for employment of Nigerian graduates be enhanced for Nigerian economy to grow at sustainable rates.

He spoke at the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) stakeholders’ interactive session in Abuja and urged that employability must be a collaborative effort among the government, organised private sector and the youth.

“To me, this initiative is about more than creating employees; it is about turning these young men and women into tomorrow’s employers of labour. Hard work and professionalism is key.”

“Heirs Holdings will demonstrate support for this progressive initiative by engaging some of these graduates in our companies. As the government and the private sector work hand-in-hand to create job opportunities, these young individuals must also be proactive in enhancing their professional growth and development.”

“Government is serious about tackling youth unemployment, and the GIS has had visible results”, added Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance.

“85,000 graduates have registered with the programme. 1,000 have been paired with host companies. We need more companies to come onboard, and the government has created fiscal incentives for those firms that retain interns”, she said.

The Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) was launched in October 2012 to create opportunities for university graduates to be attached to firms, where they may work for a year and enjoy a monthly stipend of N18,000. With the experience gained, interns will have improved their chances of employment following the programme.

The core objectives of the Graduate Internship Scheme are to provide unemployed graduates with work experience and skills that enhance their employability, to address the dearth of qualified, skilled manpower required for national development, and to mitigate against the problem of graduate unemployment.