GIS equips 250,000 graduates with new skills

Efforts of the present administration to empower the youth and reduce the menace of unemployment seem to be yielding dividends as about 250,000 graduates were admitted to be trained at the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS). It is being undertaken by Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) with some firms as partners.

Since inception of GIS, an initiative of the Federal Government aimed to provide the unemployed and underemployed graduate youths with internship opportunities that will expose them to skills and experiences relevant to the current labour market and enhance their employability, many firms and graduates have joined.

According to the director of GIS, Mr. P.M. Pakpa, as a result of the success made “the country is now witnessing the growth of many SMEs and cooperative societies due to increase manpower. Some interns are using part of their monthly stipend to start their businesses. Some of them also have won YouWin grants to ex­pand businesses they set up using GIS stipends and many have set up cooperative associations, which may transform into SMEs. Rather than seeking for work, they are now becoming employers.”

Represented by Miss Ngozi Okonkwo, at the three-day orientation training for interns and firms’ representative held at Mayfair Events Center, Ikaja, Lagos, themed: Crack­ing the Code: Studying and Adapting To Your Organization, he said: “The orientation and employability training that is commencing today is meant primarily for the graduate in­terns. We have, however, deliberately included partnering firms and organizations as part of government’s commitment in contributing to­wards enhancement of their capacity in service effectiveness, especially through staff assess­ment, official etiquette, staff management/de­velopment through structured mentorship and other critical lines, which are necessary for the growth of any firm and organization.

“We believe that the skills and experience you are acquiring through GIS have placed you in a position to contribute meaningfully to the government’s transformation agenda and the enhancement of national manpower development as well as the achievement of the National Vision 20:20:20.”

Partakers at the orientation train were tutored on how to brand their personality, how to adapt to their organization as well as financial literacy and work skill.

The handler of the orientation training, Mr. Olamuyiwa Oyeniyi, encouraged the interns and firms representatives to cultivate the habit of written down their financial plans to enable them facilitate. He urged the government to ensure that the scheme continues:

“I will urge the government to ensure that this scheme must continue. Because the government created to last for four years and then try to renew it; it is a social scheme that should help people who are disadvantaged in getting employment immediately, they bridge the gap. Not only in earning money but also in obtaining knowledge because if you finish for a long time without knowledge you will fail. So, I think this scheme should be encouraged for the youths.”

Testifying to GIS exposure, Oyebamji Oy­eniyi, 27-year-old engineer with a communica­tion outfit, told Daily Sun that he was initially confused on how to start as an entrepreneur: “The problem I am having is that after the one year internship how to start up as an entrepre­neur but the capital, now with the training we have learned a lot on how to save money and how to be on our own. We also learned how to go for loan in different organization.”

Another beneficiary said: “I think the Federal Government has done well to come up with such an initiative. They have suc­ceeded in gradually bridging the gap between employment and unemployment. I have learnt a lot through this programme. I am attached to IBTS, Fadeyi, Lagos, for my intern, so with the experience I am garnering in my place of attachment is going to help me a lot. It has in a way addressed the issue of years of experience usually required by companies in CV.”

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