By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Grant Awardee of Royal Academy, United Kingdom, Engr. Osazoduwa Agbonenii, FNIMech has reiterated the need for more female students to take advantage in the engineering profession saying skills involved are enough avenues to influence Nigerian’s economic positively.
She disclosed this during the official launch of FAFME-ITF 3 months Hands-On Internship Training Programme Organised by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE powered by Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom.
Agboneni who is also the Project Coordinator of Forging Africa Mechanical Engineers, FAFME, noted that the essence of the training is to bridge the gap between the academy and the industry.
“It is perceived that most Nigerian graduates are not skilful enough to meet with the demands in the labour market hence the reason for the training.
“We understand that graduates especially in engineering need more training and retraining to be able to withstand the challenge in the labour force”, she said.
On STEM, she explained that Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE in 2018 proposed the ‘Inclusion and Diversity Policy’ geared towards encouraging more female gender to take advantage in engineering,
“There are sentiments that mechanical engineering is a masculine profession and that girls are not encouraged to acquire knowledge through the course.
“We have started the sensitization from the grassroots by engaging organisations saddled with the responsibility of advocating gender equality Although, the result might not be instant but we are optimistic that it is feasible”, she added.
On the number of expected trainees, she said, 50 graduates are presently undergoing after which we will train 50 graduates more and in total, we will train 100 graduates.
She, however, called for partnership with organisations to train more graduates saying only the government’s efforts is not enough.
“We are looking at proper training in terms of safety and security for the engineers, in order to allow for professionalism and reduced accident on the highway.
One of the trainees, Miss Adebayo Tosin, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, urged her female counterparts to see mechanical engineering as an avenue to bridge the gap in gender inequality.
“What you need in engineering is strength. I will encourage more female to take advantage in engineering because it is gender-biased” she said.