The German government has advised its Nigerian counterpart to restructure the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country’s education system in order to produce suitable graduates for the labour market.
This was made known during a skills development workshop that took place in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Skills Development For Youth Employment (SKYE) programme which started last year is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Speaking at the SKYE workshop in Abuja on Wednesday, the head of SKYE programme, Hans-Ludwig Bruns, said the aim is to support the promotion of need-based technical, vocational education and training, and youth employment in Nigeria.
SKYE aims at improving income-generating employment opportunities for Nigerian youth and young adults.
It aims to improve the employability of the Nigerian youth in the construction and agriculture sectors.
SKYE seeks to increase the provision of information and advice on opportunities to enter the job market.
The activities are closely linked with those of the Sustainable Economic Development programmes within GIZ.
The focus on agriculture is set in the field of food production, food processing and mechanization.
That of construction provides in-company training as well as supports formal training institutions in implementing labour market-related training.
Mr Bruns said the programme started in July 2018 and will end in April 2022. He called on the public and private sector to take ownership of the programme so as to sustain it.
“We want to make TVET demanding that is why we want to involve the Public and Private sectors. Without them this will not be successful,” Mr Bruns said.
SKYE just concluded research in six states in Nigeria. The research is on the TVET institutions in Nigeria. The states are Enugu, Plateau, Lagos, Kano, Ogun and Edo.
“We have a target of about 25,000 in the selected states because of the limited resources. We cannot run the 36 states,” he said.
” We will like a public-private dialogue with the government to support TVET. We hope to establish working groups in the established states,” he said.
“As a public enterprise, we are looking at gender equality. At least, 30 per cent of the beneficiaries of the project will be women. That is the minimum we would like to achieve,” he said.
After a field survey in various TVET institutions in the selected states,
the programme consultants said they identified various challenges in the institutions.
A research consultant at SKYE, Michael Bayode, said there are about nine technical and vocational institutions in the state but they lack the facilities for practicals in training students.
He said that the situation has created a major problem for the graduates of the institutions in the labour market.
Mr Bayode said some of the institutions do not carry out construction and agriculture but mainly entrepreneurship studies. This is because instructors for these courses are in limited number.
“In a class, you have one instructor to 500 students, which is not a conducive learning environment,” he said.
He lamented the lack of collaboration between the government and the institutions. He said the curriculum is reviewed without the knowledge of the instructors to give them the needs of the Industry.
“The instructors do not make an input in the curriculum even when reviewed. When they are involved, the graduates produced will fit into the labour market,” he said.
He said the instructors are qualified to train the students but lack the facilities to do so.
The researcher for Plateau State, Byenya Chirtau, said women were rarely involved in construction and agricultural training but are found more in entrepreneurial training.
She visited two technical schools in the state which had a population of 600 students with 15 females. She said the schools are state funded.
Ms Chirtau said another basic challenge is funding in the technical institutions and mobilising trainees.
“The nature of training is theory and practical (sic), but getting the forms for the training is usually difficult for people,” she said.
Adaobi Ezenwa, the researcher for Enugu, said there are eight technical institutions in the state, four of which are public-owned.
She said the researchers discovered that the institutions lack facilities that will aid their learning.
“Through questioners and interviews, we noticed they lack automated machines and funds,” Ms Ezenwa said.
“We discovered that the vocational institutions feed the construction and agricultural value-chain,” she said.