Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has solicited the support of France in the development of vocational education to tackle unemployment in the state.
Oyetola made the request when France Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier, and his team, paid a courtesy visit to the governor on Tuesday in Osogbo.
The governor said that the support of France in vocational education would assist the state in producing more people with business skills who would be self-employed.
“The conventional education as good as it is does not give skills.
“We are turning out so many graduates who are not skilled and that is why we are looking at training more people to acquire skills, and in turn set up their own businesses,” the governor said.
Oyetola, who noted that white collar jobs were no longer available, said it was not possible for government alone to absorb all unemployed youths.
“How many people can the government employ with the dwindling revenue? The era of white collar jobs is going.
“And that is why we need your support in vocational education through which people can acquire skills without necessarily looking for white collar jobs.
“When people acquire vocational skills, they will create jobs, employ people and also sustain their lives,” he said.
The governor said that the state government was trying its best in helping people to acquire vocational skills in all its nine vocational colleges across the state.
He also sought for more support in the area of mining, agriculture and tourism.
The governor commended France for its support in the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP1and2) in the state.
Oyetola disclosed that the $15 million granted to the state by France with additional $45 million by the World Bank had helped the state to cover the entire state under the initiative
The governor said a letter from the World Bank confirming the state as the best in terms of project implementation was enough evidence for the state to be considered for the third phase of the programme.
Earlier in his remarks, Pasquier had commended the state government for its good track record in the implementation of RAMP 1 and 2 programme.
The Ambassador said France would always be ready to support Osun government in the area of culture, economy and education among others.
“My job as France Ambassador is to develop good relationship between France and Nigeria, and not only in Abuja and Lagos but in all the states, including Osun,” Pasquier said.
(Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Mufutau Ojo