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Lagos Govt. equips 28000 students with entrepreneurial skills

By News Desk

No fewer than 28,000 final year students and those in penultimate classes across Lagos State owned Tertiary Institutions have been trained in different employability skills by the State Government in line with its commitment to reduce the unemployment statistics across Lagos.

It listed the employability skills training, through its Jobs Lagos Initiative (JLI), to include Entrepreneurship, Work Readiness tools, Soft Skills, Market Aligned courses among others, adding that the move was aimed at making the students suitable for employment and competitiveness in the global market.

As said, the state’s job initiative skills designed for final year students and those in penultimate classes was aimed at equipping students with essential skills that would make them relevant and their services essential in the labor market.

Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, stated that the initiative was part of the measures put in place by the state government efforts to reduce unemployment rate in the state, saying plans are being concluded to ensure more initiative are introduced in bridging the unemployment gap.

Wahab who disclosed this during a Ministerial briefing in Alausa as part of the activities commemorating the 2nd year anniversary of Sanwo Olu’s administration, explained thay the jobs initiative programme was aimed at preparing final year and penultimate students of tertiary institutions for immediate entry into the workforce as employees and employers of labor by equipping them with the market aligned knowledge, soft skills, business tools and the mind set reorientation in the world of work.

The Special Adviser explained that Sanwo Olu was worried by the growing rate of unemployment in the country and came up with the initiative in helping the youths develop their skills and break the barriers standing between them and job opportunities.

He revealed that as at the 3rd quarter of the year 2017, more than half of the Nigeria’s nearly 185 million were fewer than 30 with youth unemployment standing at 33.10 percent.

While regretting that a large number of graduates turned out yearly by the nation’s institutions of higher learning lacked employability skills, Wahab explained that the need to bridge the gap so as to reduce the growing unemployment rate and its attendant consequences was one of the reasons why the state government has not relented in building capacity and committing resources to skills acquisition and vocational development.

‘’Lack of employability skills exacerbates Nigeria’s unemployment problem. Not a few employers have complained about the skills mismatch in the employment market , they lament that graduates of our Institutions of higher learning come out lacking both technical and soft skills to fit into the work place’’ He stated.

Furthermore, the special adviser explained that having realized the gap, the government sought collaboration of private sector to work with the Office of the Special Adviser on Education to develop a programme that would bridge the gap and empower its teeming young population.

According to him, Loftylnc Allied Partners Limited (LAPL) was considered most suitable among the private consulting firms that showed interest to work with the State Government to bridge the gap and has been collaborating with the State Government to bridge the employability gap by providing training to the selected 28,000 thousand youths across the selected 8 Higher Institutions in the state.

While giving credits to his predecessor in Office for the initiative, Wahab explained that the present administration had widened the scope of the project, which made it possible for more people to benefit with the inclusion of those in penultimate classes.

On the Eko Digital initiative, Wahab explained that the state government in partnership with Advent Management Solutions & Loftylnc Allied Partners is leveraging on ICT to train and equip young students and pupils in Lagos government owned Primary and High Schools with requisite knowledge, skills and technical Know- how that would enable them to thrive in the technology space in a couple of years.

‘’Eko Digital is a programme designed to benefit the students and pupils in Lagos State with the right coding and technology skills that will enable them compete successfully with their counterparts from any part of the world’’ he stated.

According to him, the consultants have collaborated with the state government to train over 120,000 students / pupils in 720 schools across the state in the areas of computer Basics, Scratch, and Use of internet, Cloud services, and World Wide Web designs among other computer programming.

Eko Digital initiatives according to him would among other things help to curb youth’s restiveness as it would provide them with the right skills that would enable them get valuable jobs after completing their education. He added that the initiative will also equip young people with industry certified skills needed to get instant employment both within and outside the country.

While commending Sanwo-Olu for taking governance to the next level of technological development, the special adviser pledged the commitment of his office to efficient implementation of the state’s sustainable educational policies that will make the State rank among the best in the world.

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