• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG begins enforcement of 12yrs minimum age for apprenticeship scheme

The Federal Government on Thursday, set a minimum age of 12 years for those wishing to engage in apprenticeship in Nigeria.

The government commenced the enforcement of the new directive with sensitization programmes across the six geo-political zones of the country Thursday.

At a sensitisation rally in Abuja, Kugbo Furniture Market, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, the minister of labour and employment warned that anyone engaging an apprentice who is below the age limit of 12 is indulging in child labour which breaches the United Nation and International Labour Organization (ILO) convention and standards.

The Minister represented by Mohammed Suraj, the director, skills development and certification said the policy has been clearly spelt out under Labour law cap 198 section 49-53 LFN.

She described the theme of this year sensitization programme as apt, noting that it will enhance job creation through skills acquisation.

Among the geo-political zones where the sensitization programme has held includes, South-East, Umiahia, Abia State, South West Ondo state, South South, River state, North Central, Makurdi, Benue state, North East, Gombe, Gombe state and North West, Katsina, Katsina state.

Beyond the sensitization programme, the Ministry is also devicing ways to boost employment generation through issuing the Trade Test Certificate of Competence to deserving beneficiaries.

To qualify for the training scheme, Onyejeocha said an apprentice must be accredited by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Department of Skills Development and Certification in order to maintain standard before training commences.

According to the Minister, the training curriculum undergoes periodic review to conform to international best practices and technological advancement.

“Labour law cap 198 section 49-53 LFN clearly spelt out the minimum age for apprenticeship in Nigeria to be 12years. Anyone engaging an apprentice who is below this age is indulging in child labour according to the United Nation and International Labour Organization (ILO) convention and standards.

“Our apprentices undergo oral, written and practical tests at the end of training after which the trade test certificate of competence will be issued to successful candidate at a subsidized fee.

“At our training workshop safety precautions and regulations are strictly enforced by skills Department and Certification Officers and Safety Officers of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment in order to avoid accidents and death. Apprentice must be seen to work under a good, safe and satisfactory conditions,”the Minister stated during the sensitization rally.