This is the beginning of every programme cycle. Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates, according to the target criteria. Candidates are unemployed youths aged 18-35 years, with minimum educational qualification set at secondary school certificate. Application forms are widely publicized in print, electronic and new media. Announcement of Application forms are obtained from designated offices in the 25 Local Government Areas of the state. In addition, the application forms can be accessed, completed and submitted in the job creation web portal.
Applicants are screened using oral interviews together with due diligence checks on their biodata. Applicants are interviewed in order to assess their passion, interest, readiness and availability to participate in the programme. Brown STEP applicants are subjected to admission proficiency test to determine their eligibility for admission into Brown STEP. Similarly, Brown YAGEP applicants are subjected to field verification of claimed agricultural enterprises in order to qualify for admission.
This is the first (introductory) training administered to admitted persons. OPET is aimed at mindset change and reorientation towards self-employment for self-actualization. The activity involves onboarding of new STEP & YAGEP trainees, impartation of life skills to beneficiaries, coaching on personal character attributes, personal management and interpersonal skills.
This stage involves modular training of and skill acquisition by beneficiaries in their respective skill categories. Training is based on standard skill acquisition manuals that give the daily and weekly schedule of instructions, demos, and exercises. The trainers or training enterprises are accredited based on validation criteria – capability, accessibility, availability and credibility. STEP and YAGEP training duration ranges from 3-8 months depending on respective enterprises. This is the stage where beneficiaries acquire skills for the creation of particular types of products or services as basis for the start-up of own enterprises.
Post-training proficiency test is administered to STEP trainees (both Brown and Green) who have completed skills training. The training is designed to confirm the skills level of the graduating trainee and therefore his/her fitness to be supported with start-up materials for establishment. Assessment of proficiency is done by an independent panel comprising practitioners in the skills category.
This training is designed to get STEP/YAGEP trainees ready to start-up, own and successfully run an enterprise/business. The training covers topics and questions including starting a business, writing business plan, using the busines plan, marketing and communicating business product/service, coping with business challenges, sourcing and using business finance, growing the business as well as creating and managing business collaboration and partnership.
Successful STEP/YAGEP trainees are given start-up support to establish their enterprises. The support is in kind and cash. The principle of start-up support is to provide successful beneficiaries with the critical minimum items necessary to start and own his/her microenterprise.
This stage of activity is carried out by another government agency, Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring (DYMM) who report directly to His Excellency, the Governor. Mentoring involves guiding and assisting the established beneficiaries from enterprise/business start-up through growth and sustainability.