By Franklin Alli
General Electric (GE) Nigeria has proposed action plans to address the over eight million technical skills gap in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
In a whitepaper released by the company titled: ‘The Future of Work in Nigeria- Bridging the Skills Gap’, it also said its Garage operations in Lagos has trained 141 Nigerian entrepreneurs on advanced manufacturing technologies-3D printers, CNC mills and Laser cutters, in the past one year.
Speaking during the launch of the whitepaper on Monday in Lagos, Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO of GE Nigeria, said:”In 2017, GE commissioned a survey of four key industries – Oil and Gas, Transportation, Healthcare and Power – for insight from their key leaders, including CEOs, HR and operations directors, on the impact of skills shortage on their businesses, as well as the ways to address skills shortages.”
“Competing in the 21st-century global economy requires advanced skills development strategies and policies robust enough to adjust to changes in the economic landscape and the associated demands for skills,” he said.
He stressed the need for both the public and private sector to come together to ensure that the education system- from traditional structures to vocational and new approaches are producing the necessary skills for the country’s current needs while anticipating its skills needs in the future.
GE Africa Communications and Public Affairs Director, Patricia Obozuwa, added that the Lagos Garage which was launched in 2016 offers a year-round series of skills training programs focused on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.
“Till date, 141 entrepreneurs have graduated the program having been trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as in business development. 100+ prototypes have been developed at the Garage with over 40 ideas being transformed into practical business models. About $1million+ in funding has been secured by graduates of the program and 12 alumni businesses have won prestigious awards both home and abroad,” he said.