Bridging the Gender Skills Gap in the Construction Sector

Bridging the Gender Skills Gap in the Construction Sector

In Nigeria, one major factor hindering youth employment, especially in the construction sector, is the lack of relevant skills. This causes a mismatch between skills acquired (supply) and skills required (demand). In addition, the construction sector has long been among the industries with the lowest percentage of gender diversity in the workforce with a strong male domination.

In this context, the mandate of the SKYE programme is to improve the prospects of income-generating employment by matching the supply and demand sides of employment through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the selected sectors of construction, agriculture and industrial mechanics.

To reach its objective of improved income for over 30,000 Nigerian youth and young adults, 30% of whom are women, SKYE works with local partners such as the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to provide training in construction and other trades. In February 2019 alone, the SKYE LSETF partnership reached 127 young adults (including potential migrants and voluntary returnees) in Lagos State. By the end of 2019, SKYE successfully trained 1,732 youths in short-term trainings in construction and other professions, 564 of women are women. 456 of the total number of beneficiaries trained have gained employment; women account for 186 of this number.

Taiwo Akinjo a graduate of physics and solar energy is one of the few female beneficiaries of the hands-on technical training in electrical trade skills training funded by the SKYE programme. Being the only female in her class, Taiwo believed the training will help her stand out from her peers in the renewable energy industry. The technical training came with a mandatory three months internship. Three months after her training, Taiwo was among the few female engineers who gained employment with an international recognition solar power company in Nigeria.

The SKYE programme will continue to support skills development of young people, especially females through technical and technical and vocational training, to help create better employment opportunities for them in Nigeria.

After my undergraduate degree I realised I only knew the theoretical aspect for my field. The [SKYE LSETF practical] training was mainly on electrical fittings and installations which is very important because during field work, we always needed the help of an electrician. So, knowing about electrical installation and its fittings is a plus to my career. I am happy and doing well in my new job.”

Taiwo Akinjo (right) working on a solar inverter during her internship, Lagos.
© SKYE programme