By Royal Ibeh |
Over 180 Nigerian youths have benefitted from Nestlé Nigeria’s 18-month intensive Technical Training Programme, since its inception in 2011, with 95 per cent of them directly employed by Nestlé Nigeria and five per cent employed by other multinationals.
The Technical Training Programme was designed to bridge the technical skills gap by equipping young people with the skills to contribute to the industrial acceleration needed to drive economic development in Nigeria.
Since its inception, the programme has equipped participants with machining, mechanical fitting operations, electrical operations, instrumentation operations and automation skills, preparing them for the prestigious London City and Guilds technical certification.
The MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, at the celebration of the 3rd batch of graduation ceremony, said, Nestlé’s focus areas is to contribute to the efforts to help young people develop the capabilities and skills they need to participate in growing our economy, adding that the technical training programme prepares youth to access economic opportunities either through employment or the creation of their own enterprise with the acquired skills.
“This is important in view of the statistics showing that over 13.9 million youths are either unemployed, in unstable employment or underemployed. I am very happy to announce to you today, that all graduates of this batch have been employed by Nestlé Nigeria! So,
you see, this initiative is not only good for the individuals who participate and for their families and communities, but also good for our company; a Win-Win-Win! We are indeed creating shared value,” Elhusseini averred.
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, said, the Ministry is delighted and proud to see vibrant youth who have gone through the 18-month training process to obtain the City and Guilds certification.
Dare who was represented by the assistant director, Enterprise Development and Promotion Department of the Ministry, Mr Hamid Nagogo, added, “We particularly commend Nestlé for this laudable initiative on youth empowerment. We trust that the company will continue to partner with the Government to provide more opportunities for skills development to support the acquisition of decent jobs by young people across the country”.
On his part, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Muhammed Bello, who was represented by the director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammed Bashir, said, technical knowledge and other hands-on skills are essential tools required for the growth and development of any nation.
“I commend Nestlé Nigeria for her efforts in empowering the youth through education and training as this will go a long way to create a skilled workforce that can meet the demands of a rapidly evolving economy,” Bello posited.
In his opening remarks, the director general, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) Mr. Wale Oyerinde, said, NECA is proud to be collaborating with Nestlé for this skills development programme.
“Celebrating the graduation of the 3rd batch is a major achievement and milestone in solving the challenge of the teeming youth population in the country – youth unemployment. Through this training program, Nestlé is not only filling the pipeline for experienced technicians required in the Industrial sector, but the company is also improving the capacity and ability of the young ones to support their families and communities, creating compounding socioeconomic impact,” Oyerinde added.
Meanwhile, Iyamu Precious is one of the 20 beneficiaries who were awarded certificates of completion of Nestlé Nigeria’s technical training program at the Abaji Technical Training Center. He made his family and friends proud as the best graduating student of Batch 3, achieving 31 distinctions and one merit, in the 32 courses he took in the City and Guilds examinations.
Prior to joining the technical training program, Precious aspired to further his studies and build a career path in automation and instrumentation. His dreams came true when he was selected to participate in the Nestlé Technical Training program, out of over 600 applicants. Thanks to this experience, Precious is an employee of Nestlé Nigeria today.
Precious stated, “The successful completion of the training program is a huge feat for all of us. This platform is an opportunity that we do not take for granted. We will make you proud”.
“I can confidently tell young people across the country that they should not give up hope, as their dreams and aspirations are attainable if they put in the required work and dedication to prepare themselves to access opportunities when they become available,” he added.