By Dayo Adesulu
AS global unemployment figures for 2017 hits 200 million, experts are urging students globally to embrace technical or vocational training, stressing that it is the only way to widen the employment net and make youths economically independent and employers of labour.
Quoting ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook and National Bureau of Statistics respectively, the MD/CEO, Lagos Water Corporation, Engr. Muminu Adekunle Badmus said: “The global unemployment figure for 2017 is above 200 million, as 70 per cent of 80million youths are either unemployed or underemployed.’’
Badmus, while delivering the keynote address at the 11th Convocation of Lagos City Polytechnic, lamented that the youth are running away from polytechnic education where technical or vocational training skill could be acquired.
Speaking on, “Enhancing the Standard of Technical and Vocational Skills in Tertiary Institution in Nigeria” maintained that the only way to widen the employment net and make our youths not only economically independent, but employers of labour, is by enhancing the standard of polytechnic education.
He said: “We are battling with economic recession, if we are serious and committed to solving the problems, we need to rejig our vocational education as one of the crucial elements in enhancing productivity. This the only way we could have economic competitiveness that will bring us out of current recession.”
In the new economic environment, he averred that technical education is expected to produce an educated, skilled, and motivated workforce that will use specific skills to drive the country economy to the greatest heights.
Commenting on technical education, he said Nigeria has the largest number of polytechnics system in sub-Saharan Africa, adding that the Federal has 25, States 41 and 42 private which supports numerous graduate programmes towards human capital and technical development. “The system embraces much of the country’s research capacity and produces most of its skilled professionals,” he said.
According to him, when you need technically proficient hand, you can find in the polytechnic graduates.
Speaking in the same vein, chairman, Governing Council, Lagos City Polytechnic, Engr. Babatunde Adewale Odufuwa disclosed that 700 graduates received National Diploma and Higher National Diploma. He said: “312 Diplomats shall be conferred with National Diplomas while 388 shall be conferred with Higher National Diplomas totalling 700 candidates from the School Engineering and Applied Sciences and School of Business and Management Studies.’’
Odufuwa, while motivating the graduating students on the need for hard work, charged them to learn from the ants, business life, adding that there is no limit to education. According to him, self improvement is the first step to any form of improvement, adding that you cannot improve anything around you without first improving yourself. “You are not qualified to correct anyone except you have corrected yourself,” he said.