‘Youth vocational schemes will bridge skills gap, unemployment in real sector’
Worried by the increasing unemployment amongst youths and the dearth of manpower skills in the nation’s real sector, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) has called on managers of the economy to place urgent attentionon qualitative vocational and technical education.
The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, explained that there are many employment opportunities begging to harnessed, but stressed that the technical know-how to undertake these jobs is what is lacking in the nation.
Akande during a national conference on technical and vocational education in Nigeria, said technical education is concerned with qualitative technological human resource development directed towards a national pool of skilled craftsmen, technicians, technologists in vocational and technical field, but stated that presently in Nigeria, such education is hindered by myriads of challenges preventing it from contributing to the reduction of abject poverty, hunger, unemployment and the overall development of the country.
Akande who was represented by the Deputy president, LCCI, Babatunde Runwase, added that the workshop, themed, ‘Technical and vocational training in Nigeria: Tool for sustainable national development’, is germane considering that mass unemployment in the country can largely be addressed through the acquisition of comprehensive and qualitative vocational skills and technical education.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said Nigeria’s education system has an important role to play in actualizing government’s desire to nurture and develop the requisite human capital-base for a globally-competitive economy, saying that the present administration has placed emphasis on technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education to encourage job creation and aid poverty alleviation.
Adamu who was represented by the Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Dr. Kudirat Ladipo, said: “As a nation, we must face the reality that education today has to be functional, in the sense that it must be structured to meet the requirements for the growth and development of the nation. It must be purpose-driven towards the development of the individual and the nation.”
He called on the need for a public-private partnership through a healthy and sustainable interaction between the town and gown as is being promoted by the LCCI to be given serious attention and encouragement.
He added that technical education is an important factor for economic growth and development, considering the relevance of competence-based education to the nation’s march to economic and industrial emancipation.
He also called for a regular curriculum review and development, as well as assessment and evaluation by regulating agencies and professional bodies to ensure that minimum required standards in input and performance are met.
He noted that industrial emancipation can only be fully achieved when the technical human capital development of the nation is driven by the demands of the labour market.
The Chairperson, Science, Energy and Technology Committee, LCCI, Joana Maduka added that education remains the key to sustainable development of any country.
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