Job Creation: History,Goals

SCRIPTS BY MONDAY UWAGWU
AT the inauguration of his administration way back on May 29, 2015, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, minced no words in holding that he would do things differently, towards a positive end. In that connection, he unfolded the SMART Agenda, under which primacy of attention was to be laid on strategic wealth creation and provision of jobs for all Deltans.
With the goal of strategic wealth creation and provision of jobs for Deltans in mind, the administration proceeded, short on the heels of its inauguration into office, to create and inaugurate the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer (CJCO), under the leadership of egg head, Prof. Eric Eboh.
Since the creation of the office of the CJCO, the administration has created different genres and types of job and wealth creation modules. They include the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme(STEP)and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme(YAGEP), under which aegis more than 2, 000 otherwise unemployed graduates have been trained and equipped to begin life as commercials engagers in piggery, poultry, crop farming, catering, tailoring and fashion design, Events Management, fishery, etc.
Some of the trainees, hedging on the skills acquired in the course of the training by the core professionals recruited by the office of the CJCO, have now not only become successful entrepreneurs, but also have gone ahead to become self-employed employers of labour. Evidence of this is gleanable from the interview with some of them as captured in subsequent parts of this material by Mrs. Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh.
Evidently, aside of its alluring history, the Office of the CJCO has legion, multi-dimensional positive goals for both the state and its people. Generally, these goals include the followings:
(A) SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
The failure of the country’s education system, formal or informal, finds eloquent expression in the gross insufficiency of its vital technical and vocational sub-elements. This is the real reason tertiary school graduates, just as their basic school leavers, can hardly compete on the global scene. Besides, it is equally part of the reason that the otherwise strategic artisanship segment of the local economy is in the hands, almost fair and square, of either non-Nigerians or Nigerians of northern extraction. It is in order to reverse the far-fetched effects of this unwholesome scenario that the Okowa administration set up the Job Creation Office, among others, to create a pool of young men and women efficient in legions vital areas of the economy. Under the aegis of this broad policy initiative, the Job Creation Office is re-tooling Deltan Youths in six critical segments of the economy, to wit: Agriculture; Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications; Building and Construction; Handicraft; Personal Services and Audio-Visual and Cinematography Technology. The importance of the goals in this regard includes the fact of their virtual universal applications and the attestation to their long-term viability.
(B)JOB CREATION
Since it is said that skills are acquired for their value, it requires little no gainsaying that the skills imparted in trainees by the experts at the instance of the Job Creation Office are important to the extent of their effective deployment in the cause of the economic development of the state. The fact that the trainees are no longer-after their training and empowerment-job seekers, but self-employed persons attests to the importance of the programmes (under the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme, YAGEP, and the Skills Training Entrepreneurship Programme, STEP) of the Job Creation Office. To admit-as is evident- that the trainees are not just self-employed persons, but also potential job creators and employers of labour, is to attest to the inimitability of the programmes, the depth of their reach and the incisiveness of their penetration.
(C)WEALTH CREATION
Arising from the application of the imparted talents, the trainees are reckonable creators of wealth-in both intrinsic and material senses. This is because, aside of the imbibed talents (which are technical wealth in a strategic sense), they deploy the skills/talents to create goods and services that meet the needs of the society and enable them earn incomes as appropriate. The expectation in this regard is that, as more and more youths take this noble path of effective re-tooling for effective economic participation, the state would benefit from, and by, the additional highly valuable wealth made by the hands that would otherwise be idle but for the efforts of the Job Creation Office.
(D)PEACE ENHANCEMENT
The cause of peace, in every land and clime,is significantly enhanced when everyone-where possible, or the vast majority, where that is not possible-is put on the plough, so to speak. The ageless proverb related to this is that which holds that the idle mind is the devil’s workshop, Inversely, the mind, positively occupied, is the ceaseless generator of not only ideas, but an active promoter of peace. This is because, as it is evident, it is, all things being equal, less likely for a positively engaged person, irrespective of age, to engage in activities harmful to societal peace than one who has nothing on hand, as it were. With more youths engaged in STEP and YAGEP in the years to come, the frontiers of peace- the building and sustenance of which forms a crucial part of the SMART Agenda-will be significantly expanded in the state, for the benefit of all.
(E)BOOST TO ECONOMY
By the full import of all of its other enabling and salutary effects, the Job Creation Office helps boost the economy of the state by promoting peace, enhancing skills, creating jobs and boosting wealth. In fact, the range of benefits of all of these is alluring, if not enticing, in the light of the fact that the peace, which it engenders, encourages not only local investments, but also helps attract foreign direct investments. In the light of the present prostrate state of the state’s economy, the imperative of these investments-actual and potential-is undeniably clear.
(F)PRODUCING ALL-ROUND PRODUCTS
The programmes of the Job Creation Office (JCO) also aim to build the total person out of the intakes by exposing them in three vital areas of wholesome personality development-life (survival) skills-including reorientation, time management, personal branding, success drivers and communication skills; Vocational training in their chosen fields, and business management. Under the aegis of these exposures and trainings, the trainees become three all-rounded persons in one-entrepreneur, managers and leaders.
(G)BREAKING THE JINX OF WHITE COLLAR JOB SYNDROME
Above all else, the Job Creation Office, via its industry-compliant programmes, aims to end the unfortunate syndrome of white collar job dependency on the part of our school leavers. The huge benefits of this find indelible expression in the persisting evidence of the worsening incapacity of the public sector, in the light of the debilitating economic circumstances, to remain the huge absorbent of willing hands in the labour market, and, in the face of that, the overriding urgency of the search for a viable enduring solution to it.