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‘Create industrial hubs to stem joblessness of artisans’

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Worried by a large number of jobless artisans and tradesmen, stakeholders on artisan’s development have called for the creation of industrial hubs across the country.
   
They reasoned that creating such hubs would not only provide platforms for the development of skilled labour, but also expose tradesmen to emerging techniques and use of power tools to upscale their trades. Leading the call at One Precious Life (OPL) Academy alumni workshop in Lagos, Coordinator of Tradesman Empowerment programme (TEP), Yinka Akande, stressed the need to engage the army of youths roaming the streets, saying that most youths are not lazy and have trades, but had no place to practice.
      
According to her, many trained tradesmen are still finding it difficult to stand on their feet because of difficult operating environment, saying with government facilitated industrial hubs; they can contribute their quota to the national development. She stressed that a lot of people that are willing to practice had no place to practice or upscale their skill with modern technology, which placed them at a disadvantaged position with their counterparts in the neighboring countries.        

Supporting the position, the Conversion Manager, Robert Bosh Nigeria, Jeremy Adesanya, said it is not enough to train artisans without giving them the tools to make their work efficient, faster and professional.He stressed that his organisation is working with government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that artisans and tradesmen are not only trained, but also exposed to power tools that require less energy and more financially-rewarding.
      
Adesanya said his job as a conversion manager entails helping people to transit from hand tools to power tools, has exposed him to the need for government and other stakeholders to provide tools and training to tradesmen, which can easily be done through technological hubs.According to him, this could be achieved through collaboration with skill centres like OPL Academy, because of the transformation witnessed among the alumni.
    
On her part, the Chief Executive officer of OPL Academy, Oare Ehiemua, called for creation of more opportunities for Nigerian youths, who are hungry for new experiences and opportunity to excel in their endeavour.She also called for partnership to reach over 1000 tradesmen across the country, stressing that the Academy, which is already working with the Lagos State Government Employability Trust Fund, is determined to upscale tradesmen to make them competitive with others across the continent.
    
Oare, who stressed that the quality of Nigeria artisans are still relatively poor because of exposure and character, called for a platform to change the narrative.She said OPL Academy has started a move through partnership by exposing the alumni to power tools relevant to their trades after going through behavioural and technical training. The artisans were trained in professional soft skills, leadership and ethics, emotional intelligence, communication skills, entrepreneurship, design thinking, critical thinking and problem solving, technical master classes and computer literacy.


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TEPYinka Akande
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