The Entrepreneurship Research and Development Centre (ERDC), Kaduna State University, has trained no fewer than 115 youths and women on various vocational skills.
Dr. Helen Afang-Andow, Director of the centre, who spoke at the closing of the third Kaduna Entrepreneurship Voluntary Service (KADEVS) on Friday in Kaduna, said the four-week intensive training programme was designed to empower the beneficiaries.
Afang-Andow said that the programme was part of the effort to address the high rate of unemployment being faced by youths and women in the state.
She said the participants who had acquired various skills had been empowered with starter kits to enable start their own businesses for self-reliance.
“We want to change the mindset of youths and make them understand that they can do it; they identified particular skills they have interest in, we trained and empowered them.
“After the training, we expect that their marketing skills would be enhanced and they have been empowered with starter kits and they will go back to their local governments to do the job, train and empower others,“ she said.
She explained that the programme which commenced in 2017, had so far empowered 575 youths and women across the 23 local government areas of the state.
The director said the youth and women had learned skills including carpentry, fashion design and welding among others adding some of the beneficiaries had already gained employment in their respective local governments.
Some of the beneficiaries commended the Kaduna state university and other stakeholders for supporting them, saying it would go a long way in reducing unemployment.
Sagiru Alhassan, an applicant from Kubau Local government said he had been without a job for a long time and sometimes found it difficult to carter for his family but had learned the skill of carpentry through the programme.
He said he would start the business as soon as he returns home and also train other youths in his community on the skill.
Similarly, Ms Iya Magaji from Jema’a local government said she had learnt fashion design and would continue building her capacity on the skill with the starter kit she received to start a business.
Magaji said that she would train young girls in her community that would be interested in fashion design.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme: “ Turning Kaduna state women and youth into entrepreneurs through volunteerism and craftsmanship.“
The programme was supported by Kaduna state government and the Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON).