A Nigerian builders association- Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) in partnership with N-Power have kicked off an artisan training programme for 100 Master Trainers with an aim of boosting skills among local youth.
Speaking to reporters in the Capital Abuja, Vice Chairman of CORBON, Dr. Samson Opaluwah, said that after completion of the training, master trainers will be commissioned to train other trainers who will in turn transfer skills to construction artisans who are the ultimate target of the project.
Dr. Opaluwah raised concerns that construction jobs such as painting, masonry and carpentry were being taken over by foreigners leaving Nigerian youth jobless.
He added that there was need to encourage home grown talent instead of relying on foreigners who readily leave the country when greener to seek for pastures.
“It is important that we train our people.We commend the Federal Government for the effort,” he said.
The CORBON vice president observed that the training will enhance competence among local artisans ensuring that they produce top notch projects.
Although Nigeria’s construction industry is growing exponentially, observers fear that skills available in the market do not match the growth.
Critics argue that this has been caused by Polytechnics in the country turning into mini Universities creating a hands-on skills gap.
“We need more of middle level technical colleges to strictly produce middle level manpower that is technically proficient to provide the needed expertise,” Says Oge Samson a dealer in construction material.
Craft Schools and Technical Schools are fundamental to the production of Technicians, Artisans and Craftsmen she adds.
The problem of shortage of construction skills is not limited to Nigeria. In Kenya, another African country, a developer has graduated the first batch of artisans to take up construction jobs.
The six weeks programme trained 25 students in plaster-work, electrical, plumbing, painting, tiling and carpentry.
Stephen Kimenye from Arc Skills which is the company that offered the training in partnership with Tatu City Ltd said the graduates will be working with various contractors working in Tatu City
For Nigerian builders association CORBON, training
local youth is the sure way to retain and make use of talent and is a plan they can recommend for any African country.