The 112 youths that made up the first set of the 521 youths enrolled into the Delta State’s Skills Training and Enterpreneurship Programme (STEP), under the 2019/2020 Cycle of the Job and Wealth Creation Programme, have successfully completed their trainings and are expected to hit the ground running, to become great entrepreneurs and job creators.
This is because the state government through the office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, has established them to do so, by giving them starter packs to help them in their various enterprises, having graduated from their three months training.
Their various enterprises included Catering and Confectionery; Decoration and Event Management; PoP, Screed-Making and Painting; Production of Cleaning Agents, and Hairdressing, Makeover and Braiding.
The items in the starter packs were made up of the grants component consisting of the various equipments and tools they needed to start up their businesses.
The other part was the cash component, for their shop rents, which is a micro credit with 6 months moratorium payable within 24 months.
Due to Coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic, the successful STEPreneurs were made to come in groups of twenty each, in two segments daily, to receive the starter packs, just to ensure physical distancing and total compliance to the COVID-19 preventive guidelines were maintained.
The three-day exercise which commenced in Asaba on Wednesday, June 24, ended on Friday, June 26.
The handing out of starter packs to the beneficiaries was approved after they were certified by the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, having completed the training and passed the Completion Proficiency Test meritoriously.
While congratulating them for the successful completion of their training, the Coordinator of STEP in the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, Nkenchor Onyeisi, affirmed that they were invited to receive their starter packs because they have been certified by the job creation office to begin their enterprises having meritoriously completed all the activities in the programme.
Nkenchor commended the state government for sustaining the programme in the past five years, stressing that through STEP, thousands of unemployed youths have been gainfully engaged to live meaningful lives.
He recalled that the beneficiaries have come out stronger having gone through the various training activities such as the Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Training (OPET); the hands-on-training at the various training centres across the state; the Completion Proficiency Test, and the Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training which ended last week.
“The job creation programme is a progressive package. Progression into the next stage is built on the previous one. Without success in one, you cannot proceed to the next phase. You are among the successful ones who enrolled for the programme and graduated without hitch. I am particularly happy for you that you started well and that you are finishing strong,” he said.
He explained that the starter packs given to them were grant except the shop rent which is a micro credit component, adding that the state government has provided them with the needed support package to own and run their businesses successfully.
He charged them to remain focused and committed to their businesses, to register their enterprises and to hit the ground running in order to become great entrepreneurs and job creators in the shortest possible time.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to our reporter expressed their gratitude to the state government for offering them the platform to acquire skills free of charge and for nurturing them into entrepreneurs.
They pledged to use the knowledge acquired to improve their lives and to become job creators.