The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) in partnership with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has awarded grants to 11 Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) following the successful completion of the due diligence and project development phases of the ‘LSETF-USADF Employability Programme’.
The grant signing ceremony, which took place last Wednesday, was a follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by LSETF and USADF earlier in May 2019. Through this partnership, LSETF and USADF will provide globally competitive, industry- and trade-relevant skills to 15,000 youths in Lagos State over the next five years (3,000 each year), equipping them to take advantage of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
“Today, we are here to take deliberate steps to fulfil our promise to our young and productive population with the award of grants to 11 Vocational Training Centres (VTCs),” Yetunde Arobieke, commissioner, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Lagos State, said at the grant-signing ceremony.
“I am glad about the robustness of this programme, as industries and sectors to be covered under this initiative include, but are not limited to, technology, creative arts, agriculture value chains, transport and logistics, renewable energy, and construction,” she further said.
“We hope that beyond the total number of youths who will benefit from this programme, many others will be inspired to embrace self-development based on the positive impact of this initiative, which includes the increase in market attractiveness to gain access to employment, create jobs and generate income. This strategy aligns with Lagos State’s vision of providing opportunities for young people to thrive, soar, and break frontiers,” Arobieke noted.
In his remarks, C.D. Glin, USADF president and chief executive officer, said: “It is essential that the investments USADF makes in Nigeria, alongside partners such as LSETF, to address youth unemployment prioritise entrepreneurship, job creation and placement, and income generation. To the VTCs, I urge you to serve as guiding forces and mentors to these youths, impacting them beyond relevant skills, as we demonstrate that perseverance coupled with profitable skills produces great results.”
He further said the agency is interested in providing solutions to the traffic problems of Nigeria’s economic capital.
“We are looking at the challenges of Lagos in terms of traffic,” he said.
“We are looking at providing alternative funding to see how we can provide alternative transport solutions to Lagos State,” Glin said.
USADF is an independent U.S. Government agency established by Congress to support African-owned enterprises which improve lives in poor and vulnerable communities in Africa.
Speaking on behalf of Teju Abisoye, acting executive secretary, LSETF, Rahman Akinwonmi, director, Finance and Corporate Services, said the board of Trustees is optimistic about the initiative’s impact as it aligns with the strategic direction of the Fund.
“I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that the LSETF Board of Trustees, in providing oversight to the Fund, will ensure strict adherence to our obligations and ensure that we provide the governance and accountability required for the sustainability of the programme, “he said.
The 11 awarded VTCs include: Field of Skills and Dreams Academy, Intermarc Consulting, LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited, Decke Vocational Academy Limited, HoneyTreat Trade Academy, Mods Salon/Body Refinement Limited, House of Tara International, Universal Learn Direct Academy (UDLA), AGDC Employability and Enterprise Limited, OSC College of Fashion, and Jenniez School of African Interior Design.