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1,000 unemployed youths targeted in Delta’s STEP, YAGEP 2020/2021 cycle

1,000 unemployed youths targeted in Delta’s STEP, YAGEP 2020/2021 cycle

Over 1,000 unemployed youths are targeted for skill acquisition, agricultural training and empowerment in 2020/2021 cycle of Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau programme.

The targeted youths include those who passed the recent screening exercise conducted by the bureau from the list of thousands who applied under the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP).

The current cycle, which is the 6th since 2015 when the pilot scheme commenced, brings the total beneficiaries to 5,074 so far.

Already, training has begun for the first batch of the STEP beneficiaries as 320 of them took part in a one-day orientation and personal effectiveness training (OPET) and entrepreneurship and business management training (EMBT), recently organised for them at Government House, Asaba.

The 320 enrolees are starting full training at the various centres they have been posted and will spend between six and eight months.

The chief job and wealth creation officer of the bureau, Eric Eboh, a professor, charged the enrolees to take the training serious in order to build themselves into entrepreneurs capable of sustaining their enterprises.

Speaking with newsmen in Asaba, Eboh said the programmes were in line with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s vision of ensuring that youths from Delta State are productively and economically empowered to become independent, self-employed, employers of others and creators of wealth.

He said the governor’s political will has so far sustained the job and wealth creation programme. “His will to get youths of Delta State to become creators of wealth and employers of labour has led to the sustainability of the programme”, Eboh averred.

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He spoke on the bureau’s take-off plan for STEP and YAGEP for the 2020/2021 cycle, saying, “This cycle will run in two parts. The first part is the STEP and the second part component will be the YAGEP”.

He revealed that in the current cycle, the state government targets 600 beneficiaries under STEP and 400 beneficiaries under YAGEP. He said the first batch of the STEP beneficiaries were the 320 persons that have just participated in the orientation workshop.

The first batch covers four enterprises namely: Fashion Design and Tailoring, Welding and Fabrication, Electrical Installation and Solar Works, and Tiling and Interlocking, he said.

According to him, the second batch of STEP beneficiaries would come up in the coming months as their enterprises would cover catering and confectionaries, hair-dressing and braiding, and audio-visual services.

He further stated that the YAGEP beneficiaries would be attended to in the fields. “This is because we have to visit the enterprises, verify the enterprises and make sure they are actually agricultural enterprises before we target them for support, he said.

He stressed that when the programme is in full stream, the bureau expects to have 1,000 beneficiaries. At that point, we are going to invite His Excellency the governor to preside over an induction ceremony for the entire beneficiaries under STEP and YAGEP, he revealed.

YAGEP and STEP are not just the only training and empowerment programmes introduced by the current administration in the state. There are the Rural Youth Skills Acquisition Programme (RYSA), the Women Empowerment and Skills Support (WESAP) and the Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Programme (GEST) etc, and whether they are working in synergy with the job and wealth creation bureau is an issue most Deltans worry about.

Eboh explained that they all collaborate towards the Stronger Deltan Agenda of Governor Okowa-administration. “We have a collaboration framework now that binds all the youth empowerment agencies together. E.g the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, the Girl-Child Office, the Job Creation Office ministry of science and technology, for success.

“We are all working in unison and we have a synergy in what we are doing in terms of the training programme; the starter-packs, discipline – the mentoring programme, we have the DYMM.”