FG To Collaborate With Private Sector To Close Skills Gap
*Osinbajo presides over National Council on Skills meeting
To effectively close the skills gap in Nigeria, the Federal Government will collaborate more with the private sector, especially in the relevant policy formation processes and the management of skills centres in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this Monday at the meeting of the National Council on Skills, where it was resolved to give more roles to the Organized Private Sector (OPS) as a means to closing the skills gap in the country.
Based on the approval of the Council, the organized private sector represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, among other groups, will be integrated into the activities of the NCS.
The meeting chaired by the VP also resolved to, among other things, encourage the establishment of State Councils on Skills to complement and replicate efforts made at the national level, in order to deeply tackle the issue of the skills gap across the country.
At the Council meeting, Prof. Osinbajo said that it was clear the private sector has a critical role to play in resuscitating many of the skills centres across the country, stating that the sector is better positioned to determine the needs of industries.
The VP emphasized the point about creating opportunities for digital skills acquisition as well as other relevant skills across different sectors, also with the active collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“This can be achieved by collaborating with private sector stakeholders to among other things, get accurate data on the skills gap in the country and how to better address it.
“The establishment and running of the various skills centres should be private sector driven, it shouldn’t be left to government alone to manage. The industry players know where the gaps exist.”
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje also shared lessons learnt from the operationalization of the Kano State Skills Acquisition Centre in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation to back up the resolution.
According to him, “the Skills Acquisition Centre is being managed in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation, as a good example of collaboration with the private sector. The objective was to ensure that it is run on a sustainable basis.”
Council also approved the adoption of the revised Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), presented by the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, to have a more standardized framework for the certification of skills in the country.
The Council among others also endorsed the report of the inter-ministerial team on the training of youths in relevant trades/skills, especially the subcommittee’s proposals on Training Modules; Building and Works; Information Technology; Agriculture; Automobile Servicing, and Basic Management and Accounting.
Besides the VP and the Kano State Governor, other members of the Council present at the meeting were the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Umar Kadafur; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Henry Ikoh, the representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, and the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, among others.