The Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways Project (NDYEP) was launched by PIND Foundation in September 2017. With target sectors that include Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Construction, the project seeks to map the ecosystem of skills development, analyse opportunities for employment creation and develop models of youth job readiness or workforce development that will provide disadvantaged young men and women in the Niger Delta the opportunity to secure sustainable jobs and enterprises.
PIND’s approach in making this happen is to work in collaboration with partner organizations to deliver innovative and quality training that will prepare youths in the region with market-relevant skills and job linkages. To achieve this objectives, PIND working with its partners and stakeholders has designed specific interventions targeted at specific sectors of the economy such as Agriculture, Information Technology and Construction.
These interventions were designed to be implemented through small grants provided to qualifying partner organizations to deliver technical, business and soft/employability skills trainings that demonstrate actual potential for job readiness (including opportunities for internships/apprenticeship), job placements or job creation through entrepreneurship in three pilot states of Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
Under the pilot phase of the project, PIND with support from Ford Foundation is providing limited funds; available as sub-grants to eligible organizations for innovative, demand-led training and support for equipping youth with relevant skills for work and job creation. The first Call for Proposal which was published in July 2018 focused on two intervention areas of NDYEP: i) Bright Future grant (for ICT sector) and ii) Jump starting aquaculture enterprise for youth (Agriculture).
Following this; nine organizations who met the project goal were selected across the 3 states. Two (2) organizations Doctor Fish Agric Consult (DFAC) and Ibiteinye Integrated Farms were selected as partner organizations to deliver youth skills training and enterprise development in Akwa Ibom and Rivers State for Aquaculture sub sector. Other organizations were Clintonel Innovation Centre and Innovation Growth Hub both located at Aba, Abia State for ICT, Start Hub Technology at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Cinfores Limited, Entrepreneurial Development Initiatives, Netopps and Keeping It Real, all in Port Harcourt, Rivers State were also selected for ICT.
The nine partner organizations were available at the Grants Awards and Signing Ceremony to sign PIND’s sub-grants agreements on the 18 of September 2018 to implement short-term projects which will lead to skills training of more than a thousand youths across the three states. In attending the Sub-grants Award and Signing event, the representatives of the nine partner organizations shared the scope of their projects and expected outcome.
The ceremony was graced by The Executive Director of PIND; Dr. Dara Akala, who commended the collaborative efforts of the organizations in support of NDYEP Project. The event was also attended by some representatives of Rivers State Ministry of Youth Development and some members of the project advisory committee.