Joseph Ari, director general of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has blamed the high level of unemployment in the country on the lack of required skills by Nigerian youth.

Reports from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have indicated a worsening unemployment rate, with the figure rising to 15.99 million in the third quarter of 2018.

Ari told NAN on Thursday that there are many job vacancies in the economy waiting for skilled manpower.

“Based on a Skills Gap Assessment survey in the six priority sectors of the Nigeria economy, conducted by the ITF in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), vacancies exist in all sectors,” he said.

“The unfortunate truth is that the vacancies are always filled by non-Nigerians because the unemployed Nigerians lack the requisite skills.

“Our survey showed that 19.5% vacancies are yet to be filled in the housing sector while the petrochemical sector has more than 13.9 per cent vacancies waiting for skilled workers.”

According to Ari, 15.7% of all the hard-to-fill vacancies are due to lack of technical skills and 11.8% are due to lack of basic industrial training skills while another 9.2% of the vacancies are due to lack of advanced IT skills.

The director general said the fund has been carrying out programmes to help graduates including the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme(WOSEP), and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (Training on wheels).



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