IDEAS training aimed at reducing reliance on foreign artisans in the near future —NBTE

Beneficiaries of the IDEAS training in Gombe.

 Williams Ago, Gombe

Authorities in the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) have said they are working on improving Nigeria's technical skills’ sector so as to discourage reliance on foreign artisans for the country's local and small scale industries.

Director of Human Resources, NBTE, Lawan Hafis, stated this in an interview with newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony of a five-day training for Master Craft Persons on Pedagogy, Digital Literacy, Health and Safety, Environment and Social Safeguard, and Soft Skills for young people from North East held at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe.

Lawan Hafis, represented the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Professor Idris Bugaje at the opening ceremony of the training. 

The training, which commenced Monday (27/11/23) morning, was organized by Innovation, Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS), a World Bank project, in conjunction with the NBTE.

Speaking about the training, Mr. Hafis said, "We are covering both formal and informal to ensure that we no longer rely on artisans coming from neighbouring countries and this is a standardized training so that wherever you go, you are already certified under our training and you will be properly placed.”

He stated also that the training will go a long way in addressing unemployment so that as long as people are ready to learn a trade they don’t need to rely on government employment anymore.

Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Professor Aishatu Umaru Maigari, said the trained youths will be a resource for the multi-billion Naira Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park, even as human capital development has remained one of the pillars of the State's development agenda, DEVAGOM.

According to her, "this is part of Governor Inuwa's mandate to the people of Gombe State, training human capital, so that when the industrialists come to the industrial park, they will bring their technical expertise and we have the technicians on ground.

"With the industrial park and this kind of training, the sky is just the starting point for people and we are moving more to skills and certification. 

"This is one of it because sometimes no matter the skills you have, if you are not certified, you will not get employment. These youths are going to be certified by NBTE and so wherever they go, the certificate is going to be of international standard,” she stressed.

Engineer Mohammed Suleiman Yusuf of the IDEAS Project Management Unit, NBTE, said IDEAS is a World Bank supported project received by the Federal Ministry of Education to support skills education delivery.

He said the system and the project coordinating unit in Gombe State has been very active and has received the full support of the Commissioner of Education and the governor of the State, which makes it easy to commence the programme in Gombe State. Other States where the project is ongoing are, Benue, Kano, Edo, Abia and Ekiti.

"Skill is now the global currency. If you have a recognized certified skill, you can travel anywhere in the world. Now employers are not looking for certification, they are looking for what you can do for them before they can pay you.

"We have five major areas that we are going to touch on during the training. The first one is methodology, Digitalization, they need to know how to market themselves and communicate with digital systems and all those things and then we have the issue of environment.

"Remember we are affecting our environment, so we have a programme on that and then occupational health and safety, which is very critical.

"That is why all major employers or contractors coming to Nigeria, if you don’t have certification of occupational and health, whatever the level of competence you have, you'll not be accepted,” he emphasized.
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