The Office of the Vice President in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) has officially announced the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who performed the unveiling of the programme on Wednesday in Abuja, said the programme was a job training scheme that would engage no fewer than 20,000 graduates in its first year.

He said that the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme was a new and bold addition to an existing big-impact programmes that would rewrite the narrative as it related to jobs, skills and employment in Nigeria.

“As we have heard, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme will create internship opportunities for young Nigerians who have recently concluded the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

“These fully-paid internships will last for 12 months and will be in reputable private and public sector organisations across the country.

“The idea will be for the participants to gain relevant career and life skills that will enable them transition seamlessly into professional, business or public sector careers, while also earning a living along the way.

“It is our belief that this program will bridge the gap between the skills and capabilities of recent graduates, and the real-time human resource demands of the labour market.

“It will also connect graduates with opportunities to earn as they learn, and to gain required experience.

“At the end of each cohort, the fellows should have gained the required experience and skills they can either use immediately or build on subsequently.

“The programme is named in honour of the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence and the plan is to start with 20,000 fellows in this first year of the programme.”

Osinbajo said that President Muhammadu Buhari would formally launch the programme soon.

He commended the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Yahya, and the Head, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS , Ketil Karlsen, for their personal commitment  in the successful take off of the programme.

According to him, the quality of implementation

will be the key to the success of the Jubilee Fellows Programme.

“We are resolute in our determination to make the needed difference, and rebuild the confidence of our young people in the ability of their government to rise up to the occasion and guarantee a future that is better and more prosperous than the past.”

The Vice President thanked everyone who had been involved in the planning, design and implementation of the Jubilee Fellows Programme.

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Osinbajo urge private sector leaders and captain of industry, development partners and the diplomatic community, to support the program aimed at equipping young Nigerians with skills and experience required for the work place.

Earlier, Yahya said that the essence of the programme was to see the human capital of Nigeria fully harnessed and proactively deployed.

He said that young Nigerians were assets and had demonstrated to the world the enormous talent the country had.

In a remark, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the private sector had a key role to play in job creation.

Adebayo said the Federal Government was committed to helping the private sector achieve its potential. (NAN)