The introduction of Technical & Vocational Education Training was first initiated by the Missionaries. Unfortunately, this did not fit into the prevailing liberal curriculum as the products of such schools had slim chances of securing White-collar jobs. As a result, both students and parents then and now viewed Technical & Vocational Education Training as educational arrangement for low-achievers who could not succeed in purely academic secondary school, but prepared for Blue-collar career in a society where upward mobility depended on purely academic career, a perception that almost smothered TVET nation-wide.
There are other problems be-deviling TVET in Nigeria such as dilapidated infrastructure, obsolete equipments and work tools, inadequate qualified teachers and instructors to meet with current industry skills, introduction of subjects with overloaded curriculum, lack of proper funding by some governors, lack of sensitization of TVET in Nigeria, inadequate number of Technical Colleges, lack of entrepreneurial programme, poor motivation of teachers. This trend in no small measure frustrated the enrolment of candidates into TVET; consequently, our society lacks skilled technicians: bricklayers, carpenters, painters, auto-mechanics e.t.c which has affected every facet of the economy even in Lagos State.
TVET cannot be overemphasized because this is the engine for Economic growth. Progressive economic growth is not just in a nation that buys and sells but it also encompasses the actual production of these goods to be sold. These goods cannot be produced without skilled technicians.
GENESIS OF THE REVOLUTION
This dearth of skilled Technicians spurred the Lagos State Government into initiating the Revolution in TVET taking place in the state. He has invested massively in education and skill training taking place as no nation can compete effectively in emerging global market place with poorly educated and unskilled workers.
In order to correct the wrong perception by the society, there was an Advocacy Programme jeered towards the sensitization of stakeholders on the re- engineering of TVET and the need to embrace its Revolution.
The Executive Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) who is interested in the welfare of his citizens established Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) on 3rd May,2010, the bill was signed into Law on 13th, July 2009.The objectives of the Board are;
- Stimulate and encourage Vocational and Technical Education not only as a basis for creating early technological awareness, but also to provide suitable orientation for further learning, entrepreneurship and employment.
- Responsibility for the efficient management and the establishment of Technical and Vocation at the post primary school level.
- Ensure and collaborate with a wide range of partners and stakeholder to attract additional resources, information and investment so as to improve the quality of TVET in the state.
The Board is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing Five Technical Colleges in the State and other Vocational centers spread over all the Local Government areas.
ON YOUTH RESTIVENESS
This present administration in the state is focused and determined to reposition TVET as a tool for addressing youth restiveness and equipping them with skills for self-employment. This effort is evident and visible various infrastructural developments in the five Government Technical Colleges as well as recruitment of highly qualified technical teachers/instructors to strengthen curriculum delivery.
LASTVEB is also promoting TVET as a desirable alternative to /combination with university/Polytechnic education and a new alternative for the large number of JAMB casualties by Training them in different vocational trades.
This Revolution in TVET cannot be complete without referring to the Lagos State School leavers Modern Apprenticeship Training Programme (SL-MATP) and the Graduate Vocational Employability Skill Training Programme (GV-ESTP) officially Launched on 17th April, 2012.This programme is aimed at addressing the high level of youth unemployment and its accompanying youth Restiveness. It is to ensure adequate skills training, empowering the people, prepare them for the world-of-work, provide job opportunities and keep the youths off the streets. This Lagos State Government unique initiative is a vehicle for providing technical and Vocational training to the Larger number of School leavers and Graduates towards producing self-reliant, competent and skilled Lagos youths, Knowledgeable and passionate about skills trades and dedicated to becoming self-employed/ and successful entrepreneurs.
As part of REVOLUTIONILIZING TVET through the SL-MATP and GV-ESTP, a 20-man INDUSTRY ADVISORY TEAM was inaugurated. Some of the responsibilities of the team include;
- To determine skills required and the level of competencies in the relevant areas.
- To facilitate cooperation and support of the scheme by organized private sector.
- To decide current and future training needs and develop guidelines for the training programme.
- To assist with updating standards and to maintain quality of training.
- To provide guidelines on industry standards and training.
Their involvements in all these are very important because they are the off-takers of the trained personnel/graduates.
LASTVEB, in pursuance of its mandate on prescription of standard skills to the industrial and labor workforce in Lagos State has entered partnership with many industries, commercial stakeholders in TVE, some of them are: MTN, SAMSUNG, NIGERDOCK Plc, HIGHBURY COLLEGE UK. Etc.
EMPOWERING THE YOUTHS
Skills gap to drive the Lagos Vision has been identified by several studies critical, especially in Engineering, Road construction, Transportation, Power and Water Supply, Housing, Environment/ Physical Planning as the Global environment is changing rapidly. Lagos state as the social-economic hub of Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region has always blazed the trail in the provision of this enabling environment for trade to thrive. This is further supported by the envisioning of Development Agenda to transform Lagos State into Model Africa Mega-City.
In achieving this in Lagos State through the MATP, graduates have being admitted into the programme in order to have a large pool of Artisans/Craftsmen to support the Lagos Vision and its respective targets and are in three phases. This laudable initiative by LASTVEB will benefit the society, the economy and the social benefits will be far reaching.
- Employability, Enterprise Skills & Mindset Re-Orientation Training: Given the mandate re-orientating, impacting these youth with a different mindset from the room so as to make them high-value producing individual with the vision and drive to make a difference in society as a whole .Through the LASTVEB Employability and Enterprise programme (LASTVEB EEP), spanning a three –week period, Employability, Enterprise Skills & Mindset Re-Orientation Training deploys soft skills training and entrepreneurial skill development in fulfilling this mandate towards the attainment of the overall goal. It is designed to achieve the following.
- Develop the entrepreneurial capacity of youth through classroom and hands-on training on business start- up and growth.
- Develop and transform the mental capabilities of the trainees by educating and preparing them for the challenges ahead of them in the world of work and business.
- Increase the population of self aware, assertive and confident young people.
Employability and Mind Set Training Programme employs existing best practice in transferring knowledge to and assessing trainees. All learning activities on the program are expertly executed and customized to suit Nigeria cultural and Industry context.
- Over 200 trainees has gone through Employability and Mind Set Training Programme
- Vocational training, taking place in our five Government Technical Colleges.
- Entrepreneurship (start your own business.)
THE JOURNEY SO-FAR
As part of the post launch activities, LASTVEB through MATP have accomplished the following;
- Adverts for admission of school leavers and Graduates into SL-MATP and GV-ESTP were placed in National Dailies.
- Impactful post launch media splash was achieved, featuring write-ups in six reputable newspapers. (The Guardian, This Day, Daily Sun, the independent, Punch and The Nation) which also kept the programme on the minds of industry stakeholders.
- Several industries and industry groups who showed genuine interest to be part of the programme are already working.
- Most sector Skill industry Groups worked tirelessly to produce the curriculum.
More than 2,000 candidates showed interest by registering online through LASTVEB website.
Many batches of the trainees have gone through the Employability and Mind Set Training Programme, and some have graduated from the vocational training programme. The trainees are from different trades;
- Block Laying
- Electrical Installation
- Welding & Fabrication
- AUTO- MECHANICS
- Clothing & Dress Making
- Landscaping &Floristry
- Interior Design.
- Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning
- Medical Instrumentation
- Industrial Instrumentation
- Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Repairs and Maintenance Services
As part of our success story, LASTVEB in conjunction with MCS Consulting unveiled another revolutionary initiative tagged “SKILL-UP”, a City and Guilds Industry- backed Technical Skills competency Training and Examinations project focused on developing practical skills (for immediate absorption by the industry) over and above certificates. According to BRF’ comments, “Technical Education should not be seen as inferior to Secondary Education our youths should be equipped with Technical and Vocational skills that are marketable.” The major objectives of SKILL-UP projects are;
- To strategically intervene and revive Technical & Vocational Education by upgrading the quality, course content and infrastructure available to learners thereby attracting and raising a new breed of workforce and correcting the poor public perception of Technical Skills acquisition.
- To support regional and national development targets by providing a huge pool of well trained and competent workforce for the labor market, stimulating entrepreneurship and wealth creation, thereby reducing unemployment.
- To directly impart over the next 10 years almost every sector of the economy long term beginning with Construction/Housing thereafter oil and gas, power, manufacturing etc. by producing an industry-ready workforce. This we believed would significantly reduce the amount lost to capital flight through the excessive importation of skilled labor despite our large population.
REJUVENATION OF OUR GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL COLLEGES
The revolution of TVET has brought about tremendous revival to all the five Technical Colleges in the state. Apart from the advocacy programme that was initiated to create awareness of the existence of the five Technical Colleges, the infrastructure, academic standard and performance have also improved. ICT Laboratories were constructed for the training of teachers and students in data management and internet. These schools libraries were also upgraded to include reading carrels, supply of books, shelves and air-conditioners to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) standard and requirements. Power is critical in the training of skills in our colleges, Five (5) generating sets were procured and installed to aid practical lessons.
MTN foundation (MTNF) has complimented the efforts of the State Government to improve productivity of the workforce by flagging-off the MTN Youth Skills Development Project (MTNF-YSDP) as part of its corporate social responsibilities initiatives to improve the Technical Skills of Nigerian Youth towards social development and self-reliance. They have invested in infrastructure development, capacity building and supply of relevant equipment and furniture to boost learning in the GTCs Lagos State.
LASTVEB in collaboration with Niger dock has trained some of its staff-members in Welding and Fabrication. The Board succeeded in training 270 practicing members of Lagos State Plumbing contractors association for competences in Plumbing and Pipe fitting practice. Another 2000 Artisans benefitted from this initiative to up-skill practicing Artisans. A 100 teachers and instructors have been trained in entrepreneurship, 20 master trainers were selected and retrained in handling the Entrepreneurship training programme in the Technical Colleges.
SAMSUNG Nig. Ltd in partnership with Lagos Eko Secondary Education project and in conjunction with LASTVEB established SAMSUNG Electronics Engineering Academy in Training craftsmen and advanced technicians on all Samsung Electronics Products, offer technical classes for senior Secondary School students from neighboring schools, placement of trainees on internship and full-time employment. About 400 of students in Electronics, Air-conditioning and Instrumentation have benefitting from this partnership.
LASTVEB has been able to establish five production centers, business clinics in each of the Technical Colleges to create competitive business environment and enhance quality of graduates from our colleges. These centers are handled by the training and retraining of Master trainers in Entrepreneurship Development. These centers diagnose business problems for the students, organize seminars, trainings, workshops, motivate and encourage all intending students’ entrepreneurs. They also assist Students/trainees in the preparation of business plans, linking them up with micro-finance Banks and encouraging young business owners to develop the habit of proper records keeping. The board is in partnership with Auto medics Nig Ltd on capacity building for Lagos State Artisans and has trained over 759 practicing Auto-mechanics in modern Auto-diagnosis.
With these revolutions in TVET, statistics have shown that between 2009 and 2013, there has been an increase in the number of students intake. Over a hundred percent of students enroll for the various trades offered by the Technical Colleges.
LASTVEB is now introducing Technical and Vocational Education Framework/Pathway into the Scheme of work to increase awareness and Vocational relevance of primary and junior secondary education.
The partnership of Julius Berger Nig. Plc and the Lagos State Government through LASTVEB is transforming GTC Odomola-Epe into a world class Technical college in Construction trades, with the provision of all necessary training facilities, laboratories and workshops. The partnership is aimed at improving the quality of Education and infrastructure available to the student and adding value to the curriculum towards an international certificate. To also create a platform for training crop of new artisans and retraining the existing practical professionals to aid their effective contribution to meet industry needs.
Currently, Julius Berger construction works are ongoing at GTC-Odomola-Epe. It has also afforded Julius Berger Nig. Plc. the opportunity of sourcing its core well trained, competence and skilled youth’s workers in construction trades from the GTC
The Board is in collaboration with ITF-NECA in Technical Skill Development Project (TSDP) for plumbing, Tiling and Carpentry (Building- related). They are providing counterpart funding taking the form of new Structure for equipment and tools. They have also initiated Business Start Grant for the best 4-5 business plan to promote entrepreneurship and job creation among youths which will be funded by the state Government. ITF-NECA TSD project will train instructors through study visits and work-based curriculum planning programmes linking graduates to employment opportunities in the NECA- member companies. They are encouraged to constitute a cooperative or a Small Medium Enterprise (SME). This initiative is to discourage one-man entity, encouraging company.
NECA will also look into the structure by monitoring all trainers, trainees and employers every step of the programme. The focus is on producing young graduates who are highly skilled. The will also support in the area of setting up construction/building related enterprises as a way of creating employment and stemming youth restiveness.