Firm boosts workers’ capacity through skills acquisition programme
Citing the need to urgently bridge the gaps in getting the technical knowledge to strengthen the country’s manufacturing sector, the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF) has partnered with German Dual Vocational Training Institute to provide the requisite skills in the Nigerian manufacturing sector.
For this purpose, ITF has rallied support from business-membership organizations in the country. These include the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian-German Business Association, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ogun State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking at the open day workshop to commence Kabelmetal Nigeria’s Apprentices Skills Acquisition Programme in Lagos, Engr. Steven Kehinde Awoyele, the Project Coordinator, German Dual Vocational Training Partnership for Nigeria, said the major objective of the project is to increase the qualification and certification of young men and women in technical fields in order to add value to what private organizations are doing in their factories.
In his words, “the project intends to build capacity for trainees to be self-reliant but the most important thing is that it is demand-driven. Therefore, if a particular company needs them, these apprentices are taken fresh for training through the project. In addition, it also aims to enable them earn income commensurate with their abilities and skills. This will enable add value to the operations of their respective companies”.
He stressed that “importantly for sustainability, we have set out a structure whereby the business-membership organizations or the companies can take it up, individually. For instance, LCCI has set up a business education service and training unit which is anchoring the profession-office administration. The four areas of core competence are Industrial Mechanic, Industrial Electronic, Maintenance and Technical facility Management, as well as, Office Administration/Project Management.
On the effort and contributions of ITF with the five partners in Nigeria, Ludwig Grunter, a senior expert at DVT said the programme which is being financed by the German government started two years ago and has drawn a curricula based on over thirty years experience in the field of technical training in industries.
According to him, “dual vocational education means training divided into two parts – theory and practical classes. We have tried to fit the course system into the properties used in Nigeria because it is a lot different from the Germany’s specification. In Germany, apprenticeship is between three and three and a half years in the particular industry”.
Grunter observed that apprenticeship is one year in Nigeria, and many companies are not even able or willing to do it. He lamented that the challenge in the country is that many companies shy away from training their workers in the necessary skills needed to deliver quality job of international standard.