New National Occupational Standard will boost micro businesses — Minister

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New National Occupational Standard will boost micro businesses — Minister
By Franca Ofili
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade
and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, said the new National
Occupational Standard (NOS) would help improve the technical capacity
of auto engineers as well boost micro businesses.
Abubakar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the
framework was one that had the capacity to create jobs for Nigerian
youths.
She said “The framework is something that will create a platform for
our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( MSME) to develop capacities.
“Skills are one thing we do not have adequate capacity; this, we will
provide the best skills of international standards to Nigerians’’.
Abubakar  said the framework  was aimed at enthroning competency-based
technical vocational training in Nigeria.
The Federal Government unveiled the new framework that was in line
with international best practices to drive the development of the auto
industry.
It contained the curriculum for the development of technical skills of
auto engineers.
Mr Jelani Aliyu, the Director-General, National Automotive Design and
Development Council (NADDC) said the framework would enthrone and
institutionalise competency-based Technical Vocational Education and
Training (TVET) in Nigeria.
Aliyu said that the council’s mandate was to ensure survival, growth
and integrate the development of the automotive industry in Nigerian.
He said added that some years back, the council conducted a skill gap
analysis of auto technicians and saw the need to develop a modular
curriculum to train auto technicians in the country.
According to him, the curriculum has now been integrated in the NOS
which is in line with the National Vocational Qualification Framework
(NVQF).
Aliyu said that the curriculum had been approved by the National Board
for Technical Education (NBTE) for training and certification in the
auto industry.
“The framework, when fully operational, will place out-of-school
children, working adults, graduates and apprentices at both formal and
non-formal setting in their rightful positions as far as skill
acquisition and competency is concerned.
“The framework is a system designed for the development,
classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies
acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the skill was
acquired,’’ he said.
Aliyu said that for NOS to be used for training of learners in the
auto sector, it was imperative that they were classified into
Qualification Credit Framework of levels.
He said the curriculum had been updated and developed up to level five.
Mr Aminu Jalal, former Director General of the council, said NOS was
to modernise and update the teaching of automotive mechanics to enable
them to understand and repair modern vehicles.
Jalal said the automotive industry had been involved with the
development of mechatronics.
He explained that mechatronics was coined from the words mechanical
and electronics in  1969 and refers to the combination of mechanics,
electronics, computing, optics and control engineering to produce
simpler, reliable and versatile systems.
“The main push for including mechatronic system in vehicles is to
increase fuel efficiency, reduce exhaust pollution and increase the
safety and comfort of its occupants,’’ Jalal said.
He said that the training of mechanics in Nigeria had not kept pace
with development in the automotive industry, as the curriculum used
for the Federal Trade Test for automobiles dated from the 1960s.
According to him, the council therefore decided to develop a new
curriculum, starting with a nationwide survey of the mechanics skill
in 2008.
“The finding of the study show that 80 per cent of the skill
deficiencies of the Nigeria auto-technicians hinges mainly on the
electrical/electronic systems of vehicles.
“Twenty per cent are on incorrect work methods, safety and environment
and poor workshop management and organisation ability,’’ he said.
Jalal said the curriculum had been in use since 2010 and was applied
to train over 5,000 mechanics. (NAN)

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