Achieving results through a Private-Public Partnership

Overview

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Institution: Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association

A  2008 Joint Survey of Contemporary Manpower requirements of the Nigerian Economy highlighted workforce shortages as well as low competency levels in the following occupational areas:

  • Mechanical Maintenance: Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Machining and Pipe-Fitting (Plumbing)

  • Welding: Production & Welding Maintenance

  • Electrical/Electronic Maintenance

  • Auto Mechatronics

  • Automation and Process Control

  • Instrumentation

The Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) is part of a policy response to the outcome of this survey; it is a collaborative intervention between two organizations, namely the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).  The TSDP  is currently in its 10th year and operates in 17 centers and 12 Technical and Vocational Colleges across the nation.  The objectives of the project include the following:

  • Provide employable skills to trainees to meet the middle-level workforce for the industry in specific trade areas

  • Promote a Public-Private Partnership Model in Technical & Vocational Skills Training

  • Prepare trainees for life-after-school by empowering them with entrepreneurial skills for job creation.

  • Showcase to policymakers a functional and productive model for employment and job creation.

Good Practice Approach

The TSDP uses initiatives such as the “Greenfield” approach for skills acquisition programmes, “Brown Fields” approach, infrastructural improvement for formal schools, technical training schools made available by NECA member-companies and Industrial Skills Training centers provided by ITF. Greenfield is setting up a skills centre from scratch, that is the acquisition of land, building and equipping, and training.  While, Brownfield is using the facilities of existing training centres to develop the capacity of unemployed youths, which provides faster results and is not as capital intensive as the Greenfield approach.

The project has three (3) core elements (indicated in the diagram) for producing job-ready technical workforce, and the duration of training is 3-18months depending on trade area.

1. Classroom training and practical hands-on exercise in training workshop

2. Industrial attachment for practical experience in the world of work

3. Entrepreneurship development anchored on the ILO Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) module  

Key Results

The project has achieved the following:

  • Sponsored the development of the technical and workforce capabilities of 6,000 youths across the nation and 80% of these youth have either secured employment or established their businesses.

  • Provided 3500 technicians with entrepreneurial skills through the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Start Your Business (SYB) Module. 70% of our graduates secure paid employment after the program while 30% set up their businesses especially those with culinary skills, fashion and electrical installation.

  • Trained 3,963 technicians

  • Constructed Training Workshops for 3 Technical Colleges (FSTCs, Orozo & Yaba and GTC, Ikorodu)

  • Upgraded 7 Technical Colleges to Model Skills Training Centres through the supply & installation of modern training equipment and tools (4 additional ones in 2018 – Kogi,  Akwa Ibom, Ondo, and Borno states)

  • Provide Business Start-up grants to graduates of the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP) (apprentices in Fashion, Culinary, Mechatronic, electrical and electronics maintenance Technicians)

  • Capacity Building for instructors of some of the training centres on pedagogy and work-based curriculum planning development.

Lessons Learnt (Success Factors & Challenges)
  • The primary challenges are inadequate funds and the need for equipment for quality training. There is also a need for take-off grant/starter kits for TSDP graduates and assistance to trainees towards the acquisition of professional certification to facilitate labour mobility.

  • The need for skills policies to reform the educational system, while Nigeria has strategies for skills development, it is still a challenge because it is the policy that drives strategies.

  • TVET needs to be promoted to shift negative perceptions of parents and prospective trainees, NECA has undertaken several advocacy activities in this regard, including discussions with the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Job Creation.

MOVING FORWARD

It is possible to replicate the TSDP in other African countries, and this can be made possible through partnerships because ‘it takes 3 to Tango’ in skills development (Government, Employers, and Institutions).

Steps in Replication:

  • Study LMI Of the country in question and align the establishment of skills centres to it.

  • The employers’ organization in the country will lead the initiative as NECA did in TSDP

  • Get the buy-in of the government agencies responsible for skills development

  • Ascertain the availability of funds either through levies paid by employers or support from development partners/donor agencies

  • Then the modus operandi of the TSDP can be utilized for implementation.

Tips on Scalability:

  • The main issue is engagement; commence a conversation and work out modalities

  • Collaboration between agencies and skills training centres

  • Encourage industry to establish in-house skills centres

  • Companies should provide opportunities for apprentices to engage in an internship

  • Industry should support skills centre by allowing their staff to be part-time instructors

  • Establishment and operation of skills centres are capital intensive; consequently, collaboration is essential through the provision of funds, equipment, infrastructure, etc. stipend for trainees is also crucial because most of them are indigent. TSDP gives allowance for transportation, provides lunch is and makes medical facilities available to them.