Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), has promised that the board in collaboration with polytechnics in Nigeria would roll out different vocational skills training to address unemployment especially amongst youth in the country.
Bugaje, who spoke at the 2021 World Youth Skills Day conference held in Kaduna on Thursday, July 15, themed; ‘Reimaging Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’ assessed the situation the younger generation in terms of skills and work in face of the Covid-19 pandemic and even after.
The NBTE Boss related the insecurity in Nigeria to the increasing unemployment among the adolescents when he said that the panacea to insecurity in the country is to empower the youth with vocational skills for decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
“The different vocational skills training would be introduced by the polytechnics based on the available industries in the area the schools were located. The board is equally working with the polytechnics to engage the informal sector providing skills training such that the trainees would be certified in line with the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)”, he said.
Bugaje furthermore explained the roles NSOF was meant to play in skills acquisition and knowledge transfer amongst youths.
“The NSQF is a system for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competence acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the training or skill is acquired.
Kaduna Polytechnics has already brought the Old Panteka Skills Market, Kaduna, into its NSQF training programme and we are encouraging other polytechnics to do the same. This will formalize and certify the informal training being provided all over the country”, Bugaje said.
Meanwhile, he made a clarion call to all state governments to revive the technical college in their various states that were abandoned some years ago due to lack of infrastructures and trained teachers.
He said the colleges have the potential of producing the skills manpower needed for infrastructural development that will revive the economy.
“The technical colleges if revived, will not only empower Nigerian youths with skills, but the youths would be certified under the globally accepted NSQF.
“We are, therefore, calling on all relevant stakeholders, the federal and state governments, the private sector and development partners to come together and find a lasting solution to youth unemployment and insecurity, through vocational skills.
“The federal government and the private sector are executing a lot of infrastructural projects across the country, but sadly these interventions are being implemented with foreign skill labour at the expense of the Nigerian youths because they lack the requisite skills.
“There is the need, therefore, for government and the private sector to work towards pushing the skills agenda to provide the youths with functional vocational skills, otherwise, the end to insecurity may not be in sight”, he said.