By Dayo Adesulu
In a bid to inspire technical education among the Nigerian Youth of today, SkillUp TVET Limited, an Industry-Backed Technical Skills Competency Development solution firm recently held a graduation ceremony for its students at an event which took place at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Center, Ikeja, Lagos.
The graduation ceremony themed: Beyond Skills Training: Innovation for Economic Inclusion & Sustainable Development was witnessed by leading Nigerian Chief Executives, Captains of Industries, Development Organisations as well as Top Government Officials as 3 graduating sets were awarded certification in this years’ Young Technician Program: Plumbing Ambassador (9 Graduands), Employability Industrial Trainings for Rivers State Youths (45 Graduands) and 2015 SkillUp Boot Camp (58 Graduands).
In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, SkillUp TVET Limited, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, expressed the company’s sincere gratitude to worthy partner organisations – ARM Properties Plc, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Rivers WorldBank SEEFOR Project and other Industry partners who have provided Job Internships and Employment offers to the graduands and also assisting in actualizing the SkillUp Dream – ‘Developing Nigerian Youths into Competent Enterprise Builders and Wealth Creators’.
Imoukhuede commended the efforts of the young graduands and further charged them to aspire for more even as they receive their certification. “These successful graduands have throughout their time with us learnt discipline through shared hard work, they have gained the knowledge principles of their trades, horned their practical competencies through the application of these principles in their workshop practical and job internships and have today joined the league of other SkillUp Ambassadors who are daily living their dreams’ he said.
He further revealed the next phase of the company’s plan which is the launching of the 150million naira SkillUp Innovation and Incubator Centre (SIIC), formulated to achieve the usage and adaptability of technology as a learning enabler which in-turn closes the affordability gap by easing access and cost of learning for the poor youths in the society.
In his own remarks, the Immediate Past Governor of Lagos State who was the Commencement Speaker, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, represented by Mrs. Olusola Oworu commended the efforts of SkillUp TVET Limited in championing the development of young people into competent enterprise builders and wealth creators, through technical skills competency and training.
“The strategic cornerstones of major economies of today are hinged on a solid foundation built on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial training. This is how China became the second largest economy in the world by productivity, based on a national policy that harnessed the technical and entrepreneurial skills of its large and young population about three decades ago” he said.
While thanking the company for the opportunity to chair the Education Endowment for the SkillUp Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC), Fashola tasked the Government to build an economy which thrives on youth productive activities and also further formulate National Policies that harnesses the technical and entrepreneurial skills of the Nigerian Youth.
Also speaking at the graduation ceremony, the PC, Rivers State World Bank SEEFOR, Mr. Kelcious Amos congratulated the graduating students for their recent exploits and assured the continual partnership of the Rivers State Government in developing youth empowerment and entrepreneurship inn relevant sectors of the economy.
“The Rivers State Government through the support of the SEEFOR Project, sponsored 45 graduates of Technical Vocational and Agricultural Training (TVAT) School and 21 instructors to the Academy as we try to tackle youth unemployment through technical and vocational skills acquisition” he said.
In her goodwill message to the company, the Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Dr. Julliet Chukkas-Onaeko commended the efforts of SkillUp Academy at partnering with ITF and other Industry partners in addressing the issues of Skills Competency gaps and youth employment in the country.
She further stressed the importance of having a skilled workforce in the country and enjoined other organizations to support this initiative and help build the country’s skill capacity. “It is also my hope that other organizations and agencies or individuals will come-in to support this partnership in the area of start-up kits and funding for the graduates of this programme” she said
Commenting on his award presentation, the Overall Best Graduating Student, Mr. Eric Ogbugo on behalf of the entire 2015 graduating set thanked the management of the company for making the opportunity available to learn and showcase their ability to the general public. He further advised other students to be confident, not to relent in their aspirations and most of all have hope for similar opportunities to acquire unique skills and training.