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NIOB wants govt to upgrade, expand vocational schools




FOLLOWING the dearth of artisans in the housing industry, members of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) have urged government to renovate, expand and re-equip existing vocational and technical schools in the country.

The institute in a its communiqué at end of the conference the 45th Conference/Annual General Meeting held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, also suggested that the Basic Apprentices Training Centres (BATC’s) and training schools in the housing industry should be standardized and integrated into the national skills policy.

They noted that government should build on the 6-3-3-4 educational policy by further introducing technology programmes that are relevant to the industry at undergraduate and post graduate levels and that it should support teaching and training institutions by providing incentives for their trainees.

“Teaching curricula in higher institutions should be reviewed to accommodate teaching and training on the relevant skills for builders, with improved provisions for laboratories and workshops, and the Teachers Industrial Work Experience Schemes/Staff Industrial Training Schemes should be re-introduced promoted and strengthened,” they said.

NIOB recommended that the Procurement Act should be amended to make it mandatory for companies to take up a certain number of builders to qualify for contract awards by Federal, State or Local governments as well as parastatals.

They also said that the CORBON as a sector skills council should place more emphasis on hands-on training facilities in all training schools to provide practical experience, while the building industry board should be established in order to identify and strategize the training needs in the industry.

Added to the recommendation were that NIOB should encourage mentoring by senior and experienced builders, including enhanced collaboration between practicing builders, NIOB, producers and marketers of building materials in order to encourage entrepreneurship and maintain standards and quality.

It was also suggested the need for sustained advocacy by all stakeholders in the building industry to ensure adequate funding of skills development projects in the country.

Finally, NIOB urged government and all stakeholders to encourage the participation of women in the building profession at all levels, while builders should embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship in line with current socio-economic realities in the Nigeria.

The conference said to attracted over 1000 participants which included eminent registered builders, renowned experts from allied professions such as architecture, town planning, engineering, quantity surveying, among others, had seven technical papers presented.

These included policy management and skills development; the scope of construction professionals skills, construction practices and skills gap in the construction industry, Influence of craft skills acquisition and critical knowledge development on project performance in Nigeria, entrepreneurship and business opportunities for professional Builders, National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) and Institutional linkages for skills development in the Nigerian building industry.

In the course of the discourse, the following observations were also made:

That there are wide gaps in efficiency of existing National Policies and Institutions of Skills Development in the Country; that the existing facilities for effective skills acquisition training are grossly inadequate and poorly maintained and that professional regulatory bodies are underfunded which impinge on the effective discharge of their duties.

Besides, it was observed that the current neglect or abandonment of Teachers Industrial Work Experience Scheme (TIWES)/Staff Industrial Training Scheme (SITS) has contributed to skill’s gap in the industry, while the continued non-existence of the building industry development board contributes to skills gap in the industry.

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