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FOCI to bridge skills gap in construction industry, trains artisans

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
18 July 2022   |   2:22 am
The Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) plans to bridge skill gap in the construction industry and reduce reliance on artisans from neighbouring countries, especially on engineering-focused skills.

The Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) plans to bridge skill gap in the construction industry and reduce reliance on artisans from neighbouring countries, especially on engineering-focused skills.

Consequently, the United Nations United Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is partnering with FOCI to develop online tool that would help identify new competencies and create new knowledge in innovations to be deployed in the built environment.

At the UNESCO Technical and Vocational Education for the Construction Industry training, which was organised in partnership with FOCI Skills Academy (FSA) and Bridging Innovation and Learning in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Abuja, FOCI President, Nasiru Dantata, said the federation wants to train and groom skilled artisans in the construction industry.

Dantata stated that the Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET (BILT) project is crucial in identifying qualification and competence to be integrated into curricula and implemented through innovative approaches.

He said: “Today, what we are discussing is the cooperation that FOCI is doing with international organisations to support our efforts in training qualified Nigerians that we can work with in our industry.

“FOCI has over the years associated with major stakeholders in developing appropriate curricula relevant to the aims and objectives the academy. We want to expand beyond training for our industry and train Nigerians that can work anywhere in the world.”

“FSA was registered in 2019 as a training provider on Dual Vocational Training (DVT) in three construction trades (Masonry, Carpentry and Plumbing). The training was designed to be of international standard and in conformity with the Nigerian skills qualification framework.

“We remain committed to increasing partnership with UNESCO to take care of current practices, identify strength and opportunities in achieving aims of the academy,” he added.

Dantata observed that COVID-19 outbreak impacted negatively in the industry in the last five years, stressing that the construction industry has bounced back and busy through the support of both the state and the Federal Governments, as well as private sector.

Also speaking, Director General of FOCI, Olubunmi Adekole, explained that FOCI academy is one of the eight institutions chosen by UNESCO for the BILT programme.

Adekole stated that the purpose of the programme is to ensure innovation in the work place and academy.

“We started the academy because of the need to train more artisans as our workers are ageing and we have to cross the borders to scout for good artisans. We felt that there are so many young Nigerians that can do better if well trained.”

In his presentation, UNESCO Project Manager, Mr. Wilson Lima Junior, said technology eliminates jobs and will continue to cause displacement throughout the economy.

He explained that the UNESCO programme is an online tool, which allow institutions to reflect on their performance and hire workers with qualifications and competencies.

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