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Stakeholders task government on artisans’ skills development


To thrive and survive in the new millennium, you have to acquire new skills

Stakeholders have urged governments at all level to support initiatives that are aimed at encouraging skill development of artisans in the construction industry.

They also called for the establishment of industrial hubs across the country to absorb trained tradesmen to further hone their skills and make them at par with their international counterparts.At present, construction firms relied heavily on tradesmen from the neighbouring West African countries for local jobs, while the unemployment rate continued to soar because of concerns over the quality of available skilled tradesman in the sector.

But stakeholders, who spoke to The Guardian on the sideline of the graduation of 21 Carpenters trained by One Precious Life (OPL) Academy in Lagos, through its Tradesman Empowerment programme (TEP), said government should support initiatives geared towards development of artisans’ skills in the country.


An official of Robert Bosch Nigeria, Mr. Paul Okaom, said the creation of industrial hubs would solve the dearth of skilled tradesmen, stressing that they are a lot of skilled and knowledgeable carpenters, who are looking for opportunity to showcase their skills.

“We need to open up opportunity clusters for artisans through an industrial revolution as seen in Internet revolution to take care of the army of such youths”, he said.Okaom urged government at all levels to be alive to their responsibilities by creating more technical colleges to drive the industrial revolution.

Also, the Chief Executive officer of OPL Academy, Oare Ehiemua called for the creation of more opportunities for Nigerian youths, who are hungry for new experiences and opportunity to excel in their endeavours, stressing that the 100 tradesmen, who benefited under the TEP programme is like a drop in the ocean.She called for creation of industrial hubs, where skilled tradesmen can operate since a lot of them are entrepreneurs, who only needed a support to thrive.

“Many of the artisans are already wired, they want to own their businesses what they need is to equip them with skills that they need so that they do a good job.

So few of them that have gone through training programme would need industrial hubs for shared resources and equipment so that they can develop quality products,” she added.

For the coordinator of Tradesman Empowerment programme (TEP), Yinka Akande, since the construction industry requires skilled tradesmen, there is need for partnership with relevant stakeholders to train them in required skills.So far 100 youths drawn from Technical Colleges in Epe, Ikorodu, Agidingbi and Ikeja as well as Yaba College of Technology among others have benefited from the Tradesman Empowerment programme (TEP) propelled by OPL Academy with support from ACA Foundation.

The beneficiaries include 25 plumbers, 21 electricians, 24 masons and 21 carpenters, who 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.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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