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Academy trains 70 artisans on building technology

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[FILE] An official of African Capital Alliance Foundation, Mrs. Uwa Osa-Oboh (left), OPL scholarship recipients for the City and Guilds Training and Examination, Ajala Azeez Ademola, Afeez Oyeneye, Popoola Olawale, Chief Executive Officer, OPL Academy, Oare Ehiemua and Board Chairman, OPL Academy, Mr. Paul Ayim at the presentation of certificates for the maiden edition of Tradesman Empowerment Programme in Lagos


70 artisans have been trained on modern techniques in construction and building by One Precious Life (OPL) Academy.OPL is an employment accelerator which trains and recruits construction workers in Nigeria.

The beneficiaries include 25 plumbers, 21 electricians and 24 masons have so far benefited from the programme.Propelled through its Tradesman Empowerment programme (TEP) and sponsored by African Capital Alliance (ACA), OPL Academy said it was borne out of the desire to take care of the youths and address the dearth of skill manpower in the built environment.

The training involved series of sessions such as professional soft skills, leadership and ethics, emotional intelligence, communication skills, entrepreneurship, design thinking, critical thinking and problem solving, technical master classes and computer literacy.Three top candidates in each session were also awarded scholarships and an opportunity to sit for the internationally recognized and Industry approved City and Guilds certification examination as well as state of the art complete toolboxes to the awardees in each of the sessions.

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It also witnessed presentations of projects by the participants as part of their graduation requirement.Chief Executive officer of OPL Academy, Oare Ehiemua, who spoke during the graduation ceremony of 24 artisans on latest mason techniques, said beneficiaries are chosen within the ages of 25 and 35 years, who have acquired various years of experience in their trade and had went through 140 hours in training with 15 different facilitators during the training.According to her, the programme is proving to be very competitive because of the increasing number of applicants in every quarter of the programme.

She stressed optimism that the graduates would be able to rise in their careers where ever they go to, aiming for supervisory roles beyond the normal entry role, that we typically find construction trade men staying at.

Ehiemua stressed that the academy has achieved an average of 80 per cent in its placement rate as most of the graduates have been placed to apprenticeship programmes on the growing network of employment partners like Cappa & D’Alberto Plc., where they have opportunity of transiting to full time employment.

“These are people, we feel can rise to construction supervisors and managers given proper tutelage and guidance, and being attached to right kind of companies when they can learn expertise and new technology”, she added.

Training coordinator for TEP, Olayinka Akande expressed satisfaction that the programme has helped in reducing the unemployment challenge in the country.

According to her, it was a rewarding experience, taking the artisans to classes, teaching them experiences, life skills they need for transition in the workspace.

Akande, however, said getting the right candidates to sit in the classes has been the major challenge as the programme targets candidates, who have at least technical backgrounds and basic skills in their chosen trades.

The class captain for the Mason group and Building Technology graduate of Yaba College of Technology, Miss Omolara Okuwobi, described the training as inspiring and educative, saying it teaches things which are not the norms but ought to be done.

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