The National Directorate of Employment has said the growing rate of unemployment in the country can be tackled with enterprise development.
To make youths and women financially independent, it said, there were various programmes designed to empower and equip them in establishing and sustaining their businesses.
At an empowerment programme organised by Rays of Light Empowerment Initiative in collaboration with Christ Gospel Mission International, the Lagos State Co-ordinator, NDE, Mr. Joseph Modey, said that the directorate was established to tackle unemployment in the country.
According to him, some government policies had caused some companies to close down; privatisation of some government agencies has led to the reduction in its workforce and increase in the number of tertiary institution has contributed to the increase in the number of graduates and job seekers.
Modey said, “The government responded by setting up NDE with a mandate to tackle youth unemployment. It was discovered that a large number of the unemployed were youths between 18 and 35 years. A lot were school dropouts, some had not gone to school at all and a small proportion were graduates.
He said that among the adults, some retired people were discovered to be active, therefore the directorate came up with a number programmes that would make them self-employed after retirement, adding that vocational skills programmes were introduced to address unemployment among youths to make them employable.
To achieve this, he said the agency came into contact with the operators in the private sector who had various training centres and attached them as apprenticeship in various trades.
Modey said, “They are attached to master craftsmen who train them on different skills. They acquired the skills and after graduation, some were employed by the trainers, government or the private sector while others set up businesses with the assistance of family members and friends.”
To encourage the graduands without family support and immediate employment, the co-ordinator said the directorate introduced a follow-up programme that leases equipment for them to establish their businesses.
Modey advised the women and the youths to make use of the enlightenment seminar to key into the various programmes of the directorate.