• Friday, April 12, 2024
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FG unveils plans to build skilled workforce

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has implored members of the reconstituted National Council on Skills (NCS) to focus more on building a skilled workforce in Nigeria.

Shettima made the call on Wednesday when he inaugurated the council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He outlined the administration’s key strategies for a skilled workforce, including harmonising skills development policies.

Shettima said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration would fast-track the national skills qualification framework, establish funding mechanisms, and advocate for professional certification.

“A skilled nation is one that has paved its road to the future,” he stated, adding that “the administration is aware of the realities the nation faces and recognises the monumental tasks that lie ahead for the NCS.”

Shettima also highlighted the NCS’s role as a driving force for skills development in Nigeria.

“Since its inception in 2019, the National Council on Skills has emerged as a pivotal force in providing policy direction for our skills ecosystem,” he said.

The vice president announced the addition of two new members to the council – the senior special assistant to the president on technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education and the chairman of the committee of sector skill councils in Nigeria.

“This underscores our commitment to address challenges head-on,” Shettima explained, noting that the Tinubu administration is dedicated to supporting all stakeholders in the skills ecosystem.

He pledged to address the lack of standardisation and regulation currently hindering the sector’s full potential

“Central to this commitment is the recognition of the informal sector’s substantial contribution to our nation’s GDP.

“Our aim is to cultivate a skilled workforce capable of contributing to both national and international endeavours,” he said.

Shettima also emphasised the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as the fourth pillar in the administration’s action plan.

He urged the council members to actively engage in discussions and collaborate to develop a comprehensive action plan.

“We must establish robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track our progress.

“May our deliberations be fruitful, and may we emerge stronger and more united in our resolve to uplift the skills landscape of our beloved nation,” he said.

In his presentation, the minister of education and first vice chairman of the council, Tahir Mamman briefed the meeting on its activities and important issues of note.

He disclosed plan for the proposed establishment of skills centres across the country and the planned national policy on vocational skills development, among others.

The executive secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Idris Bugaje highlighted the significance of the Nigerian Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) bill.