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The Abia State Government has proposed an Education for Empowerment Programme aimed at reviving technical colleges in the state to train youths on technical skills for self-reliance.

The Deputy Governor, Ude Okochukwu, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ engagement meeting held in Umuahia, said that no fewer than 100,000 youths across the 17 Local Government Areas in the state will benefit from the programme which is expected to commence in a month’s time. Already three technical colleges namely Boys Technical College, Aba; Government Technical College, Ohafia; and Afara Technical College, Umuahia have been selected to serve as pilot take-off schools for the project.

Okochukwu remarked that the state was determined to encourage technical skills among youths as a means of curbing the dwindling interest of youths in vocational studies and reducing youth unemployment. He hinted that the state has engaged the services of the proprietor of Kiara College in United Kingdom, Mr. Endi Ezenwa, “to help revive technical and vocational education” in the state.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, Mr Ezenwa observed that equipping Abia youths with technical skills was a better form of empowerment than giving them vehicles. He maintained that inculcating technical skills in youths would help them become “publicly employed, privately employed or self-employed” and will also help improve the standards of goods produced by the small scale industries in Aba, the industrial hub of the South-East zone.

According to him, the training would be based on the manpower needs of the local industries and the industrialists would be engaged to make known their specific manpower needs. Also, trainees will undergo psychometric tests to determine their educational and entrepreneurial capabilities to enable them to train in their area of competence.

Participants at the forum unanimously agreed that the revival of technical skills among youths should be given priority by stakeholders to help reduce unemployment.

Source: Punch, 21st August 2015


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