Lagos State Government has said that it would engage graduates of its technical colleges in a ‘Maintenance Gang’ initiative to be unveiled in August this year for maintenance and renovation works of public schools across the State.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Idiat Adebule disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of NECA-ITF Technical Skills Development Project for Students of Government Technical College, Ikorodu at NECA Auditorium, Alausa Ikeja.
The Deputy Governor said that aside from the opportunities available to graduates with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, to render minor repair and maintenance services, government will further engage the 30 companies incorporated by the graduands and graduates of the other four technical colleges in the State.
According to her, the present administration in the State is determined to explore all available avenues to encourage the growth of young entrepreneurs and as such has decided to engage graduates of its colleges as against awarding renovation and maintenance works that could be handled by these sets of young entrepreneurs to contracting firms.
Dr. Adebule commended NECA -ITF for creating the platform for graduates of the state technical colleges to be competently skilled and for giving them adequate entrepreneurial trainings that would make them actualise their dreams as entrepreneurs, while also enjoining the graduands to make the best of skills acquired by justifying the huge resources that have been invested in them.
The Deputy Governor also used the occasion to advocate more support from successful entrepreneurs and business moguls in bridging the large skills deficiency gap.
“I therefore call on people of goodwill, High Net Worth individuals, Non -governmental organisations to please partner with this administration in addressing the problems of youth unemployment, restiveness and mis-directed agitations.” she added.
Adebule promised that the state government will continue to work with the private sector in delivering a robust Technical and Vocational Education aimed at producing High Quality Technical skills for them and provision of excellent services to Lagos residents.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi Etti, urged the graduants to translate the knowledge acquired into reality by harnessing opportunities available to them in the competitive world of business.
The Commissioner also called on them as entrepreneurs and other skilled individuals across the State to access the 25billion Naira Empowerment Trust Fund created by the State Governor for young entrepreneurs to grow and sustain their businesses.
The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) Engr. Olawunmi Gasper, while delivering a welcome address at the event said that the graduation ceremony symbolises a successful private and public partnership between the State Government, NECA and ITF.
According to him, “This is an example of sharing responsibilities between the public and the private sector for the vocational education and training sector. Government and the private sector are working together for the provision of qualified, competent and skilled youths in the three selected areas – carpentry, plumbing and bricklaying/tiling.”
The Executive Secretary said that the micro-enterprises will now be the new face of providing quality services in some residential estates in the State, stressing that innovative solution that can transform the economy remains indispensible considering the present situation of things across the country.
“For us in LASTVEB, we have targeted the youths by promoting youth-led businesses and the special graduation of today lends credence to this. By engaging the youths early enough in youth entrepreneurship, strong economic and business sense is being developed.” Engr. Gasper added.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr Olusegun Oshinowo described the graduands as individuals with ‘double edged sword’ who have been trained as skilled individuals as well as entrepreneurs.
He expressed optimism of a very bright future for the graduands, saying that the future of the country lies in skilled vocation and wealth creators.