The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Thursday pledged to continue to support the training and development of technical skills, to boost employment.

Representatives of the organisation spoke in Lagos at the graduation of the 2nd batch of trainees in garments and designs from Betti-O Foundation School (Ruff N’ Tumble).

Mr Segun Oshinowo, Director-General of NECA, said at the event that entrepreneurial skills were the best skills to acquire in the present economy.

Oshinowo, who was represented by Mrs Folorunsho Samuel, a Project Director in NECA, said that there was the need to improve vocational skills in the country.

“Entrepreneurial skills are the way forward in the economy. Presently, there is a huge unemployment rate and we need to boost vocational skills training among the youths,’’ he said.

The NECA Director-General commended the quality of clothes made by Ruff ‘N’ Tumble and promised to continue to partner with the school to enable people improve on their means of livelihood.

Mr Joseph Ari, Director-General of ITF, in his remarks said that the NECA-ITF Technical Skills Development Project was a joint initiative.

Ari said that it was designed to promote the training and development of technically-skilled manpower, with appropriate technical and vocational skills, to meet the identified maintenance needs of the industry.

He hailed efforts by the school to remain a favourite brand in garment making in Nigeria and having a niche for itself since 1998.

“The Betti-O Foundation has constantly trained youths to develop their skills in garment making, empowering them in becoming successful people, with capacity to influence and drive change.

“The development of industrial skills is one of the most critical issues facing Nigeria. The emphasis on skills development is critical to national development,’’ he said.

Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi , Chief Executive Officer of Ruff `N’ Tumble, commended ITF and NECA for their partnership and advised the graduands to utilise the training opportunity and invest to secure their future.