By Moses Nosike
Founder and Managing Consultant of Simply Exponential Consult Limited, Mrs Fayo Williams in partnership with LSTEF and USADF are poised to empower young Lagosians for employment and self-reliance, thereby reducing unemployment in Lagos.
According to her, we are an approved vocational training centre for Lagos State Employability Trust Fund and we are very privileged to be participating in the training of janitorial professional cleaners, as well as Sales Associates under the LSTEF/USADF employability support programme. “I have found out that nations cannot grow great if the youths are in lack; if they don’t have the opportunities to be creative using their hands. So, I looked the vision of Simply Exponential Consult Limited, which is to help individuals and organisations to achieve business development objectives in Africa and I felt that one way to contribute positively would be to train youths, give them a means of livelihood, hope and also make them believe in their country”.
Mrs Williams further said that, LSTEF/USADF sponsored programme is also very much in line with overall economic development goals. “So far, we have trained about 86 youths and we still have the opportunity to train more 74 under this same programme. So, we are calling out to the unemployed out there who don’t have anything doing right now or who feel that their skills and ability would be better utilised with a certification programme like this. They should come on board so that they can be equipped for the future. The training involves more of practicals which takes the students through different types of cleaning, disinfection, use of equipment and also we equip them with soft skills. Sometimes, technical skills are not enough to hold a job, financial literacy is the foundation of your being so to say, because if you cannot manage your finances you probably might not be able to put something aside for the future. Communication skills, problem solving and all other skills assist in making whatever technical skills we are passing across work well. We also teach them how to use equipment, like the vacuum machine, the blower and various kind of cleaning equipment so that they can operate in the janitorial industry at large”.
Assessing the achievement of the programme, Mrs Williams said, “with the last one we held, about 95% passed. We have various batches being assessed. We do weekly quizzes where we ask the facilitators to take trainees through various procedures while the facilitators actually observe. We have this practitical assessment of the student within the four walls of the training centre. It is a competence-based training. We teach them to be able to excel at what they are doing, not just having the knowledge, but having the skill to perform the task”.
In addition, the representative of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Babajide Fadipe, said, “looking at the rate of unemployment both the state and the nation at large, it behoves on our part to try to intervene in order to reduce the level of unemployment. That is why we organise programme like this for unemployed youths to be able to harness the necessary skills that would make them to be much more acceptable in the labour market. It is something that usually excites us when we come for events like this and see some of our trainees graduating from the training exercise, while hoping that at the same time, they would be able to make best use of the newly acquired skills.
On the level of achievement so far, Babajide said that with respect to their partners, our record shows that not less than nine thousand people have been trained successfully. “From this number, 45% have been placed on jobs, and that means it’s a huge success that we have been able to record. It means we are doing something that is interesting and fruitful which will generally reduce the level of unemployment”.
Furthermore, Babajide said that apart from our employability programme in which we train unemployed youths like I have said, we also have our loan programmes that we allow people who own businesses or start-ups to have access to finance to enable them expand their business and by extension employ some people to work with them. And if the rate continues like that, we will gradually keep reducing unemployment.
In the same vein, Founder Worden HCD, Toluwase Olaniyan added that the training programme has been an interesting one. “Rate of unemployment in the country is sky-rocketing, biting hard and deep into veins of the society, and programmes like this are highly welcome. This one in particular is good, you get information from people who have been part of this programme by extension and have testified. And also for me vocational training is the way to go. Is alternative to formal education which is the angle we should be looking at as unemployment bites hard.