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How up-skilling workforce is critical for sustainability

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Head, Innovation and Sustainability, Honeywell Group, Tomi Otudeko. Photo: VENTURESAFRICA

Head, Innovation and Sustainability, Honeywell Group, Tomi Otudeko has reiterated the need for continuous upskilling of the workforce as technology presents new opportunities and also leads to new ways of doing existing jobs.

Speaking on ‘Jobs for the Future: Leveraging Technology for Job Creation’ at the recent Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) Employment Summit, Otudeko said the best way to ensure that the workforce does not become redundant in the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning is to give adequate training for the changes to come.

While illustrating her position through the operations of her company, she noted that “Our processes are increasingly automated and this has led to a change in the expectation from our millers. Our milling staff are continuously being trained and have adapted to these changes, working seamlessly with processes are driven by technology.

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“Today’s leading organisations are deploying solutions that will automate their business, reduce turnaround time and make business delivery consistent. The workforce needs to be willing to learn and be innovative in their value addition to their organisations. Embracing technology gives room for people to learn new skills.”

There was a consensus at the session on the need for a change in the country’s educational curriculum to ensure it provides the requisite skills (both technology and soft skills) needed by the next generation. Organisations also need to change their business models so as to stay competitive for the future as skills are evolving at an accelerated rate.

Other panelists at the session include Lars Johannisson, Country Manager, Tek Expert; Olufemi Osinubi, Partner, Experience Centre & Emerging Technologies, PwC; Nkem Begho, Managing Director, Future Software Resources Limited.

Recall that last year Honeywell Group partnered with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to aid youth in Lagos State acquire relevant skills required to compete in today’s technology-driven, global marketplace.

The Talent Development Programme, which runs under LSETF’s Lagos Innovates Programme, provides student loans that cover up to 80 per cent of the training cost for beneficiaries, who are then trained by any of LSETF training partners, for up to 3 months. Some of the courses offered are Full Stack Development with JavaScript (React JS, NodeJs, Express, and Mongo DB + API Development), Full Stack Development for Mobile Applications (React Native, API Development), Python Programming for Web and Data Science. (PYTHON OOP, DJANGO & Data Science, and Frontend Design & Engineering: (UI/UX, HTML, CSS, ES6 & React JS).

The first set of beneficiaries are due to complete their training courses during February 2020, while applications for new loans will be opening in the coming weeks.

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