The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said it is imperative to focus on soft skills, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability, in a quest to equip youths with effective technical skills that would shape a well-rounded and adaptable workforce.
The Governor stated this during the 2023 State Conference of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), organised in collaboration with the German International Cooperation, GIZ/SKYE, with the theme: “Rebuilding Ogun State TVET Ecosystem for Improved Access to Quality Demand-Driven Trainings and Life-Long Learning Opportunities”, held at the June 12, Cultural Center, Kuto Abeokuta.
Abiodun said part of the innovations of the present government revolves around the comprehensive analysis of the current labour market and aligning same to the State TVET programme, pointing out that, ‘’facilities in our government technical and vocational colleges across the State are currently undergoing massive world standards improvement, to enhance access to improved, quality and demand-driven technical and vocational training programmes’’.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbadu, Prince Abiodun, noted that the pace of technological change and evolving job requirements necessitates continuous upskilling, reskilling and re-establishment of a robust framework that encourages and support an individual to acquire new skills throughout their careers, adding that TVET is essential towards the socio-economic development and prosperity of any nation.
The State helmsman, who enjoined Nigerians to embrace a culture of life-long learning opportunities, reiterated that gone were the days when learning ended with formal education, appreciating GIZ/SKYE for supporting the State government for the conference, attributing the tremendous success recorded by the current administration to the effective collaboration and partnership from development partners and relevant stakeholders.
Remarking, the Project Coordinator, Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP), Mrs. Mosun Owo-Odusi and the Project Manager, Mr. Fatai Osunsanya posited that technical revolution had made many countries train and retrain their workforce, in order to be productive in both formal and informal sector, adding that the multiplying effects of the conference would include graduates with practicable skills in the labour market.
In his welcome address, the Acting Executive Secretary, Ogun State Technical and Vocational Education Board (OGSTVEB), Mr. Olubori Akinleye expressed gratitude to Prince Abiodun for his passion, commitment and resolve to reposition TVET, saying that the conference would diagnose and offer probable solutions, as well as suggestions for the improvement of the sub-sector.
In their goodwill messages, the Head of Project, GIZ/SKYE, Mr. Tobias Wolfgarten and the Migration Officer, Swiss Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Christian Brugger said young people with quality training would guarantee employment in the labour market, saying the mass cooperation in both public and private sector would pave way for a paradigm shift in youths’ employment.
Responding on behalf of other participants, Alhaji Gbenga Yusuf and Dr. Chris Celestine, lauded the State government for repositioning TVET, saying the impact on the youths would be enormous.