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How vocational skills inspire entrepreneurship

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To prepare themselves for the future, be self-employed, create jobs and contribute to the growth of the economy, some teens have on their own enrolled at the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Vocational Centre to add skills to their secondary school certificates. OPEYEMI BABALOLA had a chat with some of them.

For Adeniyi Ridwan, a school leaver, being a fashion designer will keep him busy while waiting for his university admission. According to him, skill acquisition is the best way to fend for himself when he gains admission, especially when support from his parents is not certain.

He said he chose fashion designing because people cannot do without wearing new cloths, adding that though, he started his tutorials not quite long, he has been able to make some designs for himself, family members and friends. He noted that although, his clientele is currently small, he hopes to have a good portion of the market when he is through with training and goes full time.

Explaining that his parents are in support of his chosen vocation, he said: “My parents know that going into this vocation will engage me productively, make me provide for myself and, as well, help the family. They are fully behind me, giving me all the encouragement I need to forge ahead. They understand that with the skills, I need not queue for job because I would create one for myself and others.”

Fascinated by the computer, Olasuyi Ismail enrolled to be a computer technician. According to him, since the world has gone digital, it then means that the future would be computer-based. He noted that there are a lot of computerised items to attend to, beginning with handsets to laptops and the more complex ones in the offices, adding that the training is a stepping stone for him to actualise his dream of being an engineer.

“I want to be an engineer, but I need to start from somewhere, while I await a university admission. I hope to use the training I have acquired to get to where I want; make money and go back to school,” he said.

On how he combines his training with others activities, the computer freak revealed that he organised himself in such a way that nothing comes between him and his training.

“ I want to be a computer technician for now; so, I do as much as possible to achieve this goal. And to do this, I try to avoid conflict of interests by being focused on my learning,” he said.

Nzeka David and Onusgbo Sylvia, both computer freaks, look forward to becoming computer programmers. According to Onibusi, “I need to get the basis first, then move ahead to live my dream. I love computer and have begun to work with the ones around me. ”

He revealed that he has to put in extra effort for his practical, adding that on a few occasions the institute could not afford funding them. He and other students usually contribute money to pay a resource person. He noted that they have to do this because time is precious, so they have ultilised every opportunity they have to acquire as much knowledge as possible on the field.

“I do not want to exceed the time earmarked for the programme, so, my colleagues and I go the extra mile to work to actualise our dreams. Though, it is stressful at times, the result is worth the stress,” he said.

On youth and skill acquisition, Ibe said, “tomorrow belongs to those who plan for it today.” He noted that Nigeria has a huge youth population and government cannot employ all of them, adding that the only way to be relevant in the future is to have relevant skills like computer programming. He disclosed that with computer programming skills he would be able to write programmes for individuals, private and corporate organisations and make good money.

As Ibe looks forward to a bright future, he complained of unstable electric power, stressing that running small-scale enterprises on generator eats deep into his capital and raises the overhead cost of his production. He, thereby, called on government to improve on power supply as a way to encourage start-ups.


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