Many companies in Nigeria face high staff turnover that affects their productivity and profit. Employers must invest substantially in training and retraining graduates because their skills don’t match the requirements of the modern labour market. Hence, more and more companies are realising the benefits of playing an active role in the transformation of public technical colleges and other skills providers into effective partners producing a better-qualified workforce by embedding workplace skills into vocational standards, school curricula, workbooks and lesson plans.
Responding to the demands of the labour market, the programme Skills Development for Youth Employment – SKYE, in July, supported a six-day workshop to develop Occupational Profiles and related National Occupational Standards (NOS) in five professional profiles: Office Administration, Technical Facility Maintenance, Industrial Electronics, Industrial Mechanics, Electrical and Solar Photovoltaic. The NOS workshop was done through SKYE’s implementing partner sequa in support of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and other public-private stakeholders.
The NOS development workshop reached over 250 companies in Abuja, Lagos and Kano states. About 60 per cent of the workshop participants confirmed the impact and relevance of the involvement of employers in the formulation of the NOS for their industries. The new occupational profiles will now ensure that standards are fully reflective of the labour market and employers’ expectations.
The successful development of the NOS is attributed to the close collaboration with the Abuja and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK), the education committee of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and other public-private stakeholders from different sectors of the economy in Nigeria. The involvement of these stakeholders in the rigorous process of occupational profile development was proof of a win-win situation when stakeholders in the private sector are involved in the shaping of education and training systems. Nigerian youth preparing to enter the labour market will now be able to develop the right skills, knowledge and attitudes that enhance their employability and career prospects.