Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund, Mr Joseph Ari, has said 23 million Nigerians who qualify and are willing to work are currently without jobs.
Ari quoted figures by the National Bureau of Statistics on Labour Force on Unemployment and Underemployment Report of Q4 of 2020.
The figures showed that the number of unemployed persons in the economically active or working ages from 15 to 65 was 122,049,400.
Of this number, 69,675,468 people were willing to work, but only 46,488,079 were in paid employment.
Ari noted that the unemployment rate among the youth encompassed people between the ages of 15 and 35 years, which was up by eight per cent, from 34.9 per cent to 42.5 per cent.
This was the highest among other age groupings within the period under review.
The director general spoke at the ITF second National Skills Summit in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Identify and Assess Existing Skills Development and Labour Market Contexts in Nigeria.’
Ari said attention was being focused on Institutionalising Apprenticeship and Traineeship for National Development.
According to the ITF boss, despite the high unemployment rate, especially among the youths, a Skills Gap Assessment of Six Priority Sectors of the National Economy conducted by the ITF, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Organisation, has revealed that rather than the absence of jobs, vacancies still exist in several sectors of the national economy that either could not be filled by Nigerians because of the lack of requisite skills or were being filled by foreigners.