The Lagos State has begun the graduate internship programme for unemployed youths in the state in a bid to give them opportunity to develop employability skills which are often vital in securing employment.
The three-month programme at the Onikan Youth Centre, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosimi-Etti said the programme would catered for 2,000 in the four phases.
Under the first phase, he said the first 250 graduates would embark on paid internship to companies in partnership with the state government so that they could acquire the needed skills to make them employable or be self-employed at the end of the programme.
Durosimi-Etti stated that the three-month paid internship scheme was designed to give candidates an opportunity to develop employability skills which were often vital in securing employment.
“At the end of the 3- month’s programme the interns would have gained valuable applied work experience, build up their professional network and would have been exposed to possible niche entrepreneurial opportunities and strengthened their professional’s skills and interpersonal relationships in structured setting,” he said.
He decried the rising wave of unemployment in the country as well as non-possession of employability skills by graduates, thus making them unfit for the labour market.
The commissioner added that 30 percent of knowledge acquired to be employable was through formal training while 70 percent was acquired through other forms of certifications,
“This is why the Lagos State Government deemed it fit to have programme like this for the youths to enable them acquire employable skills. The value chain process is that if you go out there and perform, the employer may retain you or you may want to be self-employed and the Employment Trust Fund is there to help you. Take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.
Permanent Secretary, Wealth Creation and Employment, Dr. Yakub Bashorun said the programme was a deliberate policy of the current administration to sharpen the skills of graduates through paid internship programme, saying that the selection process was seamless.
“We wrote over 300 firms in Lagos and some of them have given us number of spaces, the ball is in your court, don’t disappoint us,” he said.
Bashorun said the programme had four objectives, which included exposing the youths to a particular job or profession in the industry; improve on their network of contact; give them opportunity for possible placement in the company they undergo their internship and to strengthen their inter-personal skills and relationship.
The permanent secretary said at the end of the programme, the youths were expected to have garnered experience and build on their network, adding that for the three months duration of the programme, each youth would be paid by the government a stipend of N25,000 per month.
He said the employer might also want to offer them another stipends go complement what government would be paying them, saying that government would put machinery in motion to monitor the interns for the three months period.
Managing Director, Mac Tay Consulting, Elizabeth Rotimi, the company in partnership with the government in facilitating the training said the selection process was transparent.
She said the programme would enable the youths acquire employability skills that would help them in the future.