Twenty unemployed youths in Kwara state have received free training in horticulture, hard and soft landscaping, among other skills by the state branch of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

The Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, had directed the Special Public Works department (SPW) of the directorate to train the unemployed participants in some selected skills to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.

Speaking at the flag-off/orientation of the scheme, the State Coordinator, Mr Kudabo Gabriel Olufemi, said that the free training programme was meant for three months, respectively, adding that, “Hardwork is now the most promising and beneficial.”

The NDE boss, who urged the participants to see the opportunity as all-important, added that white collar jobs are few and dwindling.

He also said that many graduates of higher institutions operate as commercial tricycle or motorcycle riders, adding that formal job opportunities are scarce, while a large number of graduates go into labour market annually.

He said that the skills include horticulture, hard and soft landscaping, tiling, interlocking and plaster of Paris (POP).

He then encouraged beneficiaries to be of good conduct and make NDE proud in their places of assignment, describing the opportunity by the Federal Government opportunity as an inheritance of a lifetime.

He also said some selected participants will be empowered after the programme.

The Head of Department SPW, Mr Omotosho Adebayo, urged the participants to be loyal to their trainers, while the Head of Department, Inspectorate, Mr. Fagbemi David, advised them to be punctual, active and perform well.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Abdulsalam Kehinde, gave a testimony and appreciated NDE for giving him the opportunity to participate in the EBTS programme, saying that the programme had helped to change his life for better and that he is making lots of money from his flower and ugu (vegetables) business.

Mr Omotosho Badmus, who is among the vulnerable group, said that despite his health challenges, he still finds it as an opportunity for to showcase his talent in horticulture.