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Bodies partner to bridge skill deficit among graduate engineers

By Victor Gbonegun
22 December 2020   |   4:04 am
The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) has partnered the Royal Academy of Engineering, (UK) and Industrial Training Fund, (lTF), to train about 100 graduates of engineering in various fields.

The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) has partnered the Royal Academy of Engineering, (UK) and Industrial Training Fund, (lTF), to train about 100 graduates of engineering in various fields.
The project, which is an initiative of NIMechE is sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineers and intended to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry, and reduce the high rate of unemployment among graduate engineers, who find it difficult to get jobs due to the industry’s belief that they are half-baked.

NIMechE and the Industrial Training Fund are coordinating the training.
Speaking at the flag-off of the three-month training held at the ITF-ISTC, Lagos, the Project coordinator, Forging Africa’s Future Mechanical Engineers (FAFME), Mrs. Osazoduwa Agboneni explained that the initiative was aimed at ensuring that the participants are properly skilled and ready for the job market. She stated that the training has been broken into two batches with the first 50 participants to will be trained in four specific areas, which include automobile, electrical, mechanical and machine as well as machine fabrication engineering training.

Agboneni, who is the Grant Awardee of Royal Academy, United Kingdom, reiterated the need for more female students to take advantage in the engineering profession saying skills involved are enough avenues to influence Nigerian’s economic positively.

She stated that those who qualified for the programme were picked through open selection online, and participants have to be graduates and unemployed. According to her, the government and its agencies can’t do the skill training for graduate engineers in the country alone but requires the support of private bodies.
“Among other interventions by the Engineers is the diversity and inclusion policy, which we have started from the grass root geared towards encouraging more girls to go into mechanical engineering. The result might not be seen today but in another 5 to 10 years, we will have more girls in the field of mechanical engineering. We expect beautiful ideas and concepts from the participants, expect to see that fewer vehicles will break down on the road, see economic development and reduction in unemployment”, she said.

The Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ntung Ari represented by training manager, Mr. James Fanope, an engineer advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity, as it doesn’t always come.  He noted that synergy among the parties is in line with the vision of ITF which is building human capital for the nations’ development.

Ntung Ari who said the training would last for three months at the end of which certificate would be given to participants, urged them to be good ambassadors of ITF and justify the efforts of sponsors through diligence and hard work.
The ITF boss explained that some of the participants chose to continue with the training from which they graduated from the university while others have decided to toe a different line.
The chairman, FAFME implementation board, Chief Akintunde Zedonmi told participants that the training will expose them to a combination of highly experienced experts in all fields of engineering.

He charged them to take it seriously, and develop uncommon interest in it, stressing that their future is bright with engineering.

Also speaking, an advisor on the project, Akintayo Akinola and the chairman, Egbin Chapter of NIMecHE, Segun Akadiri expressed optimism that the initiative would add value to the trainees. The experts charged them to be prepared to turn their skills to wealth and be employers of labour.
A beneficiary of the training, Adebayo Tosin, graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, advised her female counterparts to see engineering as an avenue to bridge the gender inequality in the society.

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