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Experts urge development of artisans’ skills in built sector

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To reverse the dominance of foreign craftsmen in Nigerian built sector, experts have canvassed the empowerment of more local artisans and young entrepreneurs in the country.

The experts said the development of people with highly skilled technical manpower, social and business skills as well as the equipment to start a business would go a long way in curbing the high rate of unemployment in the country.

They spoke at a technical development programme, organised by the Global PFI Academy for 10 secondary school leavers in Lagos.

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Chief Executive Officer, Global Property & Facilities International (GPFI), Dr. MKO Balogun observed that people who are not fully skilled, can’t create opportunities, hence, the need to train more Nigerians especially, the young graduates.

He said 500 secondary school leavers and others, who are desirous to pursue a technical business career, would undergo training in various skill sets to deepen capacity for the sector.

The participants, he explained, would be trained in technical areas such as solar, air-conditioning, electrical, plumbing installation and maintenance stressing that financial support would be provided to them, to set up a small company with the right tools support.

Dr. Balogun said the scheme would include, classroom training, practical training, attachment and projects, registration of business enterprise, essential skills training, tools and equipment as well as a van.

“ In Nigeria, all aspects related to the economics of vocational education have been sources of concern to stakeholders, and even frustrating, especially when taking into consideration the relatively high cost of the programmes, compared with other educational programmes, he said.

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He noted that the TechE programme was created to address the technical skills gap in the market, after a lot of engagement with multilateral institutions and stakeholders in the industry.

“The Tech E – SIP Program is GPFI’s response to creating a maintenance economy rather than just train technical skills manpower. It is designed to develop highly skilled technical manpower, empower them with social and business skills, empower them with resources to start a business of their own – tools, equipment, van, connect and hand-hold them to business as they commence their journey to entrepreneurship, Support them for the first 2 to 5 years of their business life. We are talking to Bank of Industry, to finance the Van and tools for them”.

Participants are to be certified internationally and the training is going to be intensive training. It is free to access by the students and there plans to enlarge the programme through other states. We need to create an environment where people are developed to contribute to society”.

For the Director, Learning and Projects, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mrs. Celine Oni, empowering Nigerians with skill will take the young off some societal crimes and make them contribute to the economy.

She said, “We are pleased that GPFI shared the same strategic objectives with NECA, which is centred on empowering youths through quality training and skills needed as a means of livelihood and to be able to contribute to the Nigerian society.

“We would be following up with the programme and see how to collaborate towards national development. NECA believes in models that work by empowering youths with soft skills and encouraging entrepreneurship,” she said.

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