Experts want specific training to bridge skills gap

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Skill acquisition centre
Skill acquisition centre

By Oluwafunke Ishola

Some experts have advised private sector operators to design industry specific training to bridge skills gap to enhance the nation’s socio-economic development.

This was the consensus at a social impact discussion organised by a Non-profit Organisation, United Way Greater Nigeria, held in Lagos on Monday.

The discuss had as its theme: “The Education Agenda: Rethinking Vocational Training.”

Mr Kehinde Awoyele, the Coordinator, German Dual Vocational Training Partnership, AHK, said that the German government had been involved in various skills-acquisition training for Nigerians to enhance the country’s labour market.

“We realise that a lot of companies want to establish ventures in Nigeria, but the skill-set of the workforce has been a major concern.

“In December 2012, the German government funded the Dual Vocational Training Partnership for Nigeria because we look at a private sector driven partnership as the only way to mobilise vocational education in Nigeria,” he said.

Awoyele said that the training had improved employability of the Nigerian youth, enhance quality and performance of the participating companies and better services to entrepreneurs along the value chain.

According to him, the dual training is in collaboration with three Nigerian chambers of commerce – Lagos, Abuja and Ogun, respectively, – as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) .

Mr Olawunmi Gasper, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), said that government alone could not deliver the training needed to catalyse Nigeria’s development.

Gasper said there was the need to evolve industry advisory service for each sector to galvanise contribution to curriculum review, training support and funding to deepen knowledge and expertise across various industries.

Mrs Olayide Olumide-Odediran, the Executive Director, United Way Greater Nigeria,  reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to Nigeria’s development by bringing lasting solutions to critical sectors of the economy.

She said that the forum converged investors, philanthropists and others stakeholders, who had funded vocational education, policy makers who facilitate governance and providers to reflect on the reality of effectively delivering vocational education in Nigeria.

“Our three core areas, health, education and income generation, ensure that people escape poverty cycle, assist more Nigerians attain independence and add their quota to the development of the country.

“Our goal is to ensure that more Nigerian children are in school and have access to quality education, more Nigerians have access to healthcare and can escape poverty through access to entrepreneurship and employment to make a sustainable living,” she said.

Olumide-Odediran said that the organisation would work with communities and cross-sector partners, bring together businesses, individuals and other NGOs to bring solutions to these challenges in Nigeria.

Mrs Joke Coker, the Chairperson, Board of Trustees, United Way Greater Nigeria, said the organisation would leverage its resources and international affiliation to promote the well being of Nigerians and the country’s socio-economic development.

According to Mrs Juliet Tuakli, Director, United Way Worldwide, the organisation’s aim was to respond to the huge need in the world toward alleviating poverty and bridging development gaps.

She said that Africa, especially Nigeria, needed to bridge its development gap and United Way Worldwide, through its Nigerian office, United Way Greater Nigeria, would provide the required assistance.

Tuakli said that United Way Worldwide, adjudged as the world’s largest privately-funded non-profit organisation, had raised 4.7 billion dollars worldwide to respond to global needs.

She said that United Way network had about 1,800 autonomous organisations in more than 40 countries with the aim of tackling challenges in education, financial stability and health. (NAN)

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