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FOCI, firms launch academy for artisans

By Bertram Nwannekanma
04 January 2021   |   3:05 am
The umbrella body for building and civil engineering contractors has inaugurated an academy for artisans in the country. The academy, promoted by the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), in collaboration with the Employers’ Union for Construction and Allied Companies in Nigeria, is known as FOCI Skills Academy (FSA). FSA is aimed at helping Nigerian youths…

The umbrella body for building and civil engineering contractors has inaugurated an academy for artisans in the country.

The academy, promoted by the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), in collaboration with the Employers’ Union for Construction and Allied Companies in Nigeria, is known as FOCI Skills Academy (FSA).

FSA is aimed at helping Nigerian youths acquire vocational skills, develop their character, intellect and mental resilience that will enable them to prosper in all circumstances.

President and Chairman of the Governing Council of FOCI, Nasiru Dantata, an engineer, at the inauguration, expressed satisfaction on the actualisation of the union’s aspiration.

Dantata noted that the dream, which started in 2015 has come to pass and expressed optimism that it will become the best artisans’ training centre in Nigeria of the highest international standards in the next few months.

He urged the government and other stakeholders to give the necessary support to FSA so that many young men and women would have a better future.

He applauded Julius Berger Nigeria for providing a temporary training centre, workshops and equipment for the use of FSA as part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations in Nigeria.

Earlier, FOCI Director-General, Mrs. Olubunmi Adekoje, an engineer, said the incorporation of FSA is to correct years of inadequacies of skilled artisans in the construction industry.

According to her, FSA will train its students to improve the construction industry and also to use the skills acquired to build their communities and enhance the common good.

To achieve this, FOCI, she said, has enlisted the support of Sequa (GIZ) a German corporation with expertise in the training of artisans in various trades.

Moreover, the academy will essentially provide Dual Vocational Training (DVT) in three construction trades, which include masonry, carpentry and plumbing in the first instance.

The training in these three trades, Adekoje said would be of international standard and in conformity with the Nigerian Skills Qualification Framework.

“As a stepping stone, various workshops have been held in collaboration with Sequa (GIZ) and competent artisans from FOCI member companies on occupational profiles review and valuation,” she said.

She explained that the academy would run a year programme for trainees who are expected to be conferred with the Nigerian skills qualification level three.

“In preparation for the commencement of training in the academy, FOCI employed two masonry trainers in July 2020 who is currently working on the Masonry curriculum with consultants in Germany”, she added.

Adekoje also disclosed that an integrated expert from Germany would start work this month, adding that trainers for plumbing and carpentry as well as the training centre coordinator would be recruited to begin work.

“In our quest for a world-class training centre, we feel that periodic training for the Trainers is also required. This is in order to keep them up to date with global changes. Therefore, our first train-the-trainers workshop for masonry trainers will take place in March 2021.

“The first intake of trainees will commence in April 2021 starting with Masonry. By the third quarter of the Year 2021, FSA will begin operation in Lagos and Portharcourt”, she added.

She encouraged young people to learn a construction trade while in employment or self-employed, adding that they can move up the NSQF ladder up to NSQL Level six, which is equivalent to a first degree or HND.

Adekoje extolled the collaboration of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

On his part, the Managing Director of JBN, Dr. Lars Richter congratulated FOCI for the initiative and the drive to making it a reality. He looks forward to the first graduating class of FSA.

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