FG announces creation of 37,000 jobs in geriatric care industry

The Federal Government says no fewer than 37,000 jobs will be created in the geriatric (aged) care industry, being set up by the National Senior Citizens Centre, NSSC.

The Director General of the Centre , Dr Emem Omokaro disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja, during an interview on the one year anniversary of President Bola Tinubu.

Omokaro said in the past one year of Tinubu-led administration, the NSCC had been able to build a system of caregiving to older people as a skill in the fields health and social care.

“What we have before now, is that older persons are left to anybody that is available in the family, it does not matter whether the person knows anything about older age care and multi morbidity.

“But, what we have done in this one year is that we work closely with National Board for Technical Education as a regulatory body for technical education to design a course in caregiving, which will now be a skill and will be integrated into the Nigerian skills qualification framework.

“That means, Geriatric Social Care now, is a sector skill which means that carers of older people must be trained and certified ,” she said.

Omokaro noted that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, a document has been developed by the NSCC to bring sanity into the field of geriatric social care.

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She said when the scheme is fully rolled out, no fewer than 1000 geriatric care givers would be trained and engaged in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Omokaro noted that most Nigerians who left the shores of the country were working in the care industry abroad without prerequisite training at home.

Besides, she said that within the Nigeria skills framework, there is a demand that necessitated the set up of a geriatric social care sector.

Omokaro disclosed that NSSC has set up a 23-member private sector led Council made up of all relevant stakeholders in the field of geriatric social care to address the employment needs in the sector.

“Apart from the council, we have identified and approved training providers, with multi disciplinary capacity because issues of care criss-cross sociology, psychology gerontology medical therapies, community therapy and physical therapy.

“So, we have identified 22 states and federal government teaching hospitals that have geriatric units or centres for this purpose,” she said

Omokaro added that the training has five levels of certification including the basic care level for Senior Secondary School leavers and levels 3 to 5 which has been integrated into the Federal Civil Service Cadre for Employment.

She said, besides the employment generation, the scheme would bring dignity, security, happiness and joy to the older people that in their retirement life, they have certified care and are not forgotten.

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