Senator Tokunbo Abiru, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, has proposed a reform of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) act to incorporate digital skills to have it meet the demands of today’s workplace.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, made this known on Wednesday while overseeing the public hearing on the amendment of the bill at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Abiru stated that the amendment became necessary to address certain inadequacies in the act.
He stated that the amendment will improve the ITF’s ability to fully implement the government’s industrial training reforms.
He said, “The Amendments also seek to address the challenge of inadequate deterrence or punishment for forgery of the Funds Certificate of Compliance and other official documents, and the absence of concise interpretation of some key words and phrases used in the Act.
“This Amendment is thus expected to strengthen the Industrial Training Fund’s capacity to administer, supervise, and enforce the industrial training reforms of the government. At this critical phase in our country’s political and socio-economic journey, providing the desired training, skills acquisition, and vocational know-how that will create jobs and bring our teeming youths out of joblessness and poverty has become not only an imperative but non-optional.”
Abiru, while applauding the ITF for its achievements over the years in equipping Nigerians with skills for employability and entrepreneurship, noted that digital skills are essential for the survival of industrial revolution workplaces, and such skills should be infused into the ITF.
Abiru said, “Technology has been changing the landscape of the workforce globally at a rapid pace.” The World Bank Group’s (WBG) World Development Report from 2019, The Changing Nature of Work, explored how work is evolving as a result of technological advancements, including how these advancements are changing the skills that employers seek. The report shows that investing in human capital to develop new skills that are increasingly in demand in the labor market will be key.
“This is in line with the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, which emphasizes the need for economies to invest in human capital, particularly digital skills, to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape for jobs and skills. A simple targeted workforce transformation analysis will confirm all that I have proposed.
“Considering the current pace of digital transformation and the future, it is key to develop such competencies now to lay the foundation for optimal performance in the wholly different world that we’re likely to face as of 2025.”
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