Nigeria’s unemployment rate remains on the upward trend while employers and recruiters continue to complain of unavailability of labour. They lament that the millions of job seekers available do not have applicable skills for the available jobs. Outsourcing and hiring of foreign hands then becomes the practice in a country where a vast majority of its youths are without jobs!
It is to bridge this skills gap that Educational Advancement Centre (EAC), Ibadan, decided to bring Indian firm, Orion Edutech, to Nigeria, to provide quality and affordable vocational training to students of he centre as well as youths in general.
The programme was launched at the EAC centre in Bodija, Ibadan on Wednesday. The Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, represented by the Executive Secretary of the Bureau for Investments Promotion and Public Private Partnerships, Mr. Yinka Fatoki, was in attendance.
According to the Director of EAC, Mr Muyiwa Bamgbose, Nigeria is in desperate need of an effective vocational skills system because skills development and acquisition have been relegated to the background, leading to a situation where the artisans show up with inadequate skills.
You see a newly built house and find out that the plumbing work is terribly done. Or you see the mechanic doing trial and error on your car. That’s why I concluded that Nigeria needs a vocational skills programme.
But why Orion, all the way from India?
Bamgbose explained that his visits to India have opened his eyes to how much a nation can develop just with a youth population with the right skills. According to him, Orion’s input into vocational skills training in the country is the type that Nigeria needs.
How Nigerian youths can key into it.
Orion Edutech’s programme is run all the way from India but the best part is that online learning is the firm’s greatest strength. The more reason why it has made deep penetration in India and countries across South East Asia and Africa with over 250 state-of-the-art training and counseling centres in these countries.
In the words of Rohit Venaik, Head Global Alliance of the firm, Orion’s methods combine traditional and modern teaching methods which include:
- Computer Based Training
- Blended training through Learning Management System (LMS) and face to face learning
- Live Instructor Led Online Training on Desktops, laptops, tablets and Smart devices
- E-learning and M learning
- Educational e-governance
Mr. Venaik explained that apart from teaching the actual skills, they equip the students with three other skills – Domain Knowledge (knowledge of the industry interested in), People Skills and Industry Experience.
According Venaik, the online teaching method is very effective as the students learn through direct online communication with their tutors as well as videos for demonstration. He also said that offline materials are also provided in case of internet network failures or fluctuations.
An Indian based course, like other foreign courses, is ordinarily expected to be expensive but Venaik said that that pricing is the most important factor in the training. The courses are as low as $200 depending on the kind of training compared to some others international training that are as high as $1000.
He then advised students to cash in on the opportunity and devote a fraction of the time they spend on social media in learning some skills.
Ajimobi, speaking through Fatoki, after Venaik’s presentation, stated that the firm is coming at the right time. He commended EAC director, Bamgbose, for the initiative and stated that the presence of the programme in the state coincides with the governments current drive to encourage self employment and entrepreneurship as ways out of unemployment.
He said the government was ready to welcome graduates of the EAC-Orion Edutech programme to explore its self employment funding programmes.
Part of what the government is doing to encourage self employment is the creation of ‘Agri Oyo’ progrmme to encourage Agriculture. Also the government has created a N2billion funding programme for SMEs in conjunction with the CBN and another N1billion funding programme with Bank of Industry to support manufacturing-related enterprises. So, graduates of this programme will be welcome to tap into these windows.
Some of the programmes available in Orion include Mobile phones and computer reparing, Hotel and Hospitality Management, Beauty and Wellness, Apparel Manufacturing and Design, IT/ITES/Computing and Networking, BPO Training and Retail Management, Nursing and a host of others.
Soft Skills are also available. These skills are the ones that help you keep the job. They include 21st Century Skills, Behavious Taining, Leadership and English Communication.
The training involves live lectures from eminent professors from India, USA and Canada’; international placement assistance; opportunities for internships, 24/7 dedicated call centre helpline from India and certifications from diploma all the way to PhD level.