A total number of 850 unemployed youths have been engaged by the Delta State Government to train as entrepreneurs in the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Training (STEP) and in the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) in the 2019/2020 Programme Cycle.
This was disclosed by the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, during the Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Workshop for STEP trainees enrolled in the 5th cycle of the programme in Ughelli.
The trainees were enrolled in various STEP skills such as Catering and Confectionery; Decoration and Event Management; Fashion Design and Textile Design; Cosmetology (Skin and Facial Care); Hairdressing and Makeover, including Braiding; Information Technology Services (Open to youths with a minimum of OND/NCE; and Welding and Fabrication. Other skills are Electrical and Solar Works; Carpentry and Joinery; Tiling and Interlocking; Plumbing; Production of Cleaning Agents; POP, Screed-Making and Painting; and Audio-visual Services.
Prof Eboh pointed out that the STEP programme had been classified into two categories- the Green STEP and the Brown STEP. While stating that the Green STEP beneficiaries are those who have no knowledge of their skills but require training before establishment, he said the Brown STEP trainees are those who have knowledge and reasonable competences in their chosen skills, but only needed refresher courses and support for establishment by government.
He said the duration of training for these skills would range between 3 months to 8 months for Green STEP while Brown STEP trainees would be trained between 2 months to 4 months.
He explained that the programme selection process was allocated at the grassroots level among the 270 wards in the state which clearly was a demonstration of His Excellency’s leadership style of all-inclusiveness and fulfilment of his promise of prosperity for all Deltans.
He emphasized that the programme was designed to train, reorient, equip and support youths to accumulate occupational skills of their choice and personal effectiveness skills together with entrepreneurial skills. These according to him would enable them to establish and run their own business enterprises and for gainful self-employment.
He enjoined them to abide by the Code of Conduct for Trainees, stressing that the programme is a full time programme as the state government would not condone indiscipline among them. He added that the state government would provide them with monthly stipend throughout the duration of their training.
In the same vein, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr Eddy Mekwuye, represented by a Senior Special Assistant to the Government on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Olorogun Frank Ozue, said the Governor’s vision was to take youths off the streets in order to create employment for them, curb youth restiveness and to build entrepreneurs that would drive the economy of the state.
He reiterated the state government’s commitment to monitoring and mentoring of trainers during training and after establishment to ensure sustainability of the programme.
Respondig, Bernard Magrignor (Ughelli North LGA) and Margaret Ohwofasa (Okpe) both in Catering and Confectionery expressed their gratitude to the government for initiating the programme, adding that they are hopeful that through it they would achieve their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs. They pledged to abide by the Guidelines and Code of Conduct in order to sustain the programme.