–By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Laura Ese Oghene:
2022 trainees enrolled in the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) have lauded the Delta State Government’s for its job creation programme, describing it as the surest way out of poverty.
They made the commendations during the first series of Personal Effectiveness and Leadership Development (PELD) workshop held for them in Government House, Asaba.
The workshop tagged Leadership Class 101 was attended by 525 STEP trainees enrolled in the 2022 cycle who are on diverse vocational skills training in training centres across the state.
In his remark, Emitonye Tega enrolled in Electrical Installation and Solar Works, expressed satisfaction with the experience gained at his training centre in the past one month.
According to him, “Training has been good. It has changed my life. The skill and knowledge from PELD will equip me with life skills to make me self-employed. I studied Accountancy, graduated in 2020, but could not get a job. With STEP, I now see a bright future. Goodbye to poverty.”
He described STEP as a sustainable way of earning a living, pledging to work hard to market his brand in order to attract more clients to patronize his services.
For Eucharia Urhobocha in Catering and Confectionery, she said she was under-employed for two years after her university education till she enrolled in the 2022 STEP cycle.
To her, “STEP is a great opportunity for me to harness my passion for baking. I have learnt a lot. I hope to have a shop where I can render catering services to clients, train and employ other youths. I have registered my business, Ukraine’s Cakes and Snacks.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, in his opening remark, disclosed that PELD is an innovation to expose them to life skills in four lecture series such as Leadership Class 101, Leadership Class 201, Leadership Class 301 and Leadership Class 401.
He underscored the importance of the monthlyleadership training which according to him would help the trainees to have the foundation of entrepreneurship and business success; learn how to lead themselves so as to lead others; support them in personal development, self-management, life skills, and help them to become complete STEP graduands.
He harped on discipline throughout the training period, saying that the Job Creation Bureau has zero tolerance to absenteeism, miscount and truancy, pointing out that 14 STEP trainees have been expelled from the programme and two trainers disengaged.
On his part, the Hon Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, re-emphasized the importance of discipline in the job creation programme. “Apply discipline to help you realize your potentials and to become successful entrepreneurs and business owners,” he admonished.
Also, the Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor, Dr. Kingsley Emu, in his remark, reiterated that the state government’s entrepreneurship development and job creation programmes have reduced unemployment in the state far below what is obtainable in other states.
He charged them to make good use of the opportunity to acquire leadership skills and mindset change to reposition themselves for a brighter future.
He advised, “Your destiny is in your hands. Use choice, chance, change to harness your potentials in order to become STEP ambassadors.”