Rivers gives employability skills to 900 citizens

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By Innocent Eteng

To end job flight and reduce unemployment in the state, the Rivers State government has embarked on training its citizens.

Called “RivJobs Free Employability Training”, the three-day programme began on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at the state’s ICT centre in Port Harcourt.

It is targeted at 900 graduates and job seekers, who are divided into 150 persons per batch, with two batches being trained daily till Saturday.

The programme also seeks to link employers with trained potential employees within and beyond the state. This is made digitally possible through a website – www.rivjobs.ng.

The training covers areas like digital marketing, workplace attitudes and ethics, how to prepare a marketable resume and how to face and pass job interviews and tests.

Speaking on why the state took up the project, Lawson Ikuru, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Employment Generation, said: “We carried out employability need assessment and we found out that in most instances, our young graduates do not have confidence and capacity to present themselves before interview panels and we thought it necessary that we should do this (training) for them.”

Ikuru however said the training, which began with registration at the said website, is open to non-Rivers State indigenes who reside in the state.

He said the expectation is that after the programme, participants, during job interviews, “should be able to do a presentation that would make you outstanding.”

On his part, Victor Briggs, a consultant trainer at the programme said the factors for employability go beyond a university experience, but participants must understand that: “We are in a new age where beyond the fact that they are graduates, they need to add value to themselves by getting skills, getting qualifications and certifications that would make them acceptable and give them an advantage in the workplace.”

Some participants said, via the training, they have gained knowledge that would boost their chances of being employed.

“The programme is very much important because it will really help me to be fit and to meet the expectations of my (potential) employer. I am learning a lot of things like writing a good CV (curriculum vitae). In asking questions, I discovered that my CV is rubbish as I am talking to you right now. But when I get back,  I am going to do justice to that (CV) and in developing myself, too,” Victoria Macartan said.