By Uche Amunike
The Federal government has introduced a new scheme called Graduate Attachment Program ,GAP, with the objective of employing graduates who are job seekers in the country.
This was announced by the President-General of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, Tuesday in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state, during a five-day entrepreneurship training program for the selected graduates.
He explained that the directorate has been able to recruit and deploy 2,572 graduates of tertiary institutions across the country to different corporate organizations.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently unveiled a program he called Nigeria Jubilee Fellows which was designed to create new opportunities for at least 20,000 fresh graduates every year.
Spokesman of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Edmund Onwuliri released a statement declaring that the only people who are eligible for the GAP are candidates who have graduated from tertiary institutions and also equally completed their one year compulsory National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
According to him, with the GAP scheme is designed to provide employment opportunities for these graduates, reduce their restiveness and also the rate of long-term unemployment brought about by restriction of employable entrants in the labour market and aiding with their employability.
He went on to say that the scheme, which will last for six months will run for a total of an initial three months, adding that the interns are duty-bound to gain the needed practical work experience while providing that they are indispensable to the positions they are posted to which might lead to the interns possibly being retained at the completion of their one year internship.
Onwuliri also said that part of the reason for the training is for it to teach them how to use the most needed critical skills at their disposal to discover and identify important business plans while packaging them into feasible reports that may attract funding.
He assured them that the directorate will introduce a strong monitoring mechanism like Business support services after the training.
He further stated that it will build a new culture of mentorship and guidance for the new graduates and equip them with a whole new world of skills development and work experience in the country, especially as the new lease of life this opportunity will offer them will go a long way in maximizing their 12 months of being engaged with meaningful work.
He added that the jubilee program will equip them with the opportunity to work in top organisations, gain great work experiences and enough relevant skills that will help them build the right network for the future in various sectors, including trade, agriculture and agro-processing, information and communication technology, financial services and also manufacturing.
Sectors like mining, Education, research and development, creative industries, health and public sector institutions, are not left out as building the right skills and gaining experience from them will go a long way to sustain economic growth and development.
The president assured that the program will assist other efforts of the government to aid the Nigerian youths like they did with the N75bn, Seventy Five Billion Naira, youth fund in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development which was created to aid the youths with business ideas or plans with N25 billion, Twenty five billion naira, released annually for 3 years.
President Buhari called on all eligible Nigerians to apply for the Jubilee program and urged the private sector organisations to join by providing funding, job opportunities and mentors.