By Leonard Okachie
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Abia State on Monday launched the Basic and Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Schemes (NOAS) in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony in Umuahia, the state Coordinator of NDE, Buchi Ojei, said that no fewer than 600 unemployed youths would be trained in various skills under the programme.
The Basic-NOAS is a scheme through which unemployed school leavers are recruited and attached to master craftsmen/women in the informal sector or NDE skills acquisition centres.
This is to ensure that they acquire marketable vocational skills for decent job opportunities, while the Advanced-NOAS is designed for artisans, who graduated from Basic-NOAS. It is aimed at upgrading their skills to higher levels of competence.
Ojei said that the youths would be trained in fashion designing, photo-video production, catering and confectionery, plumbing and fittings, hair-dressing and make-up as well as ICT.
She said the three-month training would be held at the NDE training centres in Umuahia, Aba and Arochukwu.
She said that the trainees would be given stipends for transport within the training period.
“The trainees will be settled with tools of the trade and equipment at the of their programme,” she said, adding that the agency would also monitor their progress.
Also, Mr Yakubu Mani, Director, Vocational Skills Development of NDE, urged the participants to take the training seriously.
Mani, who was represented by Mrs Agnes Ogbaga, said that the Federal Government had invested so much to check the rate of unemployment in the country.
Miss Obiageri Chimaroke, who spoke on behalf of the trainees, thanked NDE and federal government for the opportunity.
Chimaroke promised that they would take the training seriously.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Abia government, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Directorate of State Security in the state, among other dignitaries.