At least 100 mastercraft persons (MCPS) in Abia on Wednesday took part in a one-day IDEAS sensitisation training/workshop on skill development.
The workshop was organised in Umuahia by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) under the IDEAS Project, in partnership with the World Bank.
Declaring the event open, the Executive Secretary of NABTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, said the programme was to enlighten the participants on the proposed training for MCPS to help them to upgrade their skills and trades to meet the global best practices.
Bugaje, represented by the Director, Sourh-East Office of the board, Mrs Ngozi Okelekwe, delivered a paper on “The Nigerian Skills Qualification Framework”.
He said that assessors would be coming to assess the MCPS, to ascertain their levels of competencies on the job, using the National Occupational Standard.
He said that at the end of the assessment, they would be issued different categories of certificates, which would be globally recorgnised.
The NABTE boss also said that the Federal Government would help them to acquire more training at well-equipped training centres to qualify them for certification by the board.
He further said that the training would help them to improve on what they already knew and learnt during their informal training.
“This will help them to be more equipped with modern knowledge, skills and techniques in order to become more proficient to meet the need of the industry and global standard,” he said.
He further said that the additional training would also help them to add value to what they teach the apprentices under them.
Also, the National Apprenticeship Consultant, IDEAS Project, Mr Musa Abdul, said that the programme was designed to sensitise the participants on the benefits of integrating MCPS into the nation’s formal sector.
Abdul said that the programme would afford them the opportunity to formalise their training and become certificated in line with global best practices.
The IDEAS Project Coordinator for Abia, Mrs Nwanyieze Otum, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the idea was about training the Nigerian youths to acquire skills.
Otum said that the Federal Government’s objective was to check the rising unemployment rate and restiveness among the youths.
She said that no fewer than 100 mastercraftmen in Aba and Umuahia were invited to the workshop.
The Chief Human Resource Officer of NBTE, Mrs Juliana Muolokwu, further said that the board wanted the youths to de-emphasise certificate and degree acquisition in favour of skill development.
Muolokwu said that the era, where paper qualification was valued above skill acquisition, had gone, adding that youths should endeavour to acquire one or more skills to secure their future.
Some of the participants, who spoke on the sideline of the workshop, thanked NBTE for organising the programme, saying that it exposed them to innovations that could help them grow their businesses.
The President, Power Line Shoe Manufacturers Association, Aba, Mr Beningnus NwaDavid, and Mrs Ugochi Okafor, a fashion designer, appealed to NBTE to make the workshop a regular event to help them to upgrade their businesses.
NwaDavid said that he was particularly impressed with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administrator’s emphasis toward developing the non-oil sector to grow the nation’s GDP.