With recent economic and technological growth, the current challenge with employability will increase as more than 75% of new job opportunities are expected to be skill-based.
Realising the significant need for a skilled workforce to boost employment and economic growth, the Enugu State government, through the Enugu SME Centre is partnering with iCreate Africa to launch the Enugu Skill-Up Project— a technical and vocational skills training that will empower over 500 youths in the state.
The Enugu Skill-Up Project will focus on delivering, among other things, skilled training in welding, carpentry, tiling, plumbing, electrical installation, drywall and painting, solar inverter installation and maintenance, wallpaper installation, POP installation and wall screeding, and concrete construction work.
The project will be executed through the iCreate skill-up platform, a unique feature on http://www.skillers.ng, designed to reform and modernise skills training through apprenticeships under experienced Master Craft Persons (MCPs).
Bright Jaja, chief executive officer of iCreate Africa, stated that the platform will match selected applicants with highly qualified MCPs to deploy competency-based training techniques during a three months-long apprenticeship. Assigned MCPs will use a combination of theoretical and practical training approaches to train apprentices, helping them gain hands-on experience and adapt quickly to working environments.
The Special Adviser to the governor on SME Development & Head, Enugu SME Center, the state agency charged with job creation, capacity development, and access to capital for SMEs in Enugu State, Arinze Chilo-Offiah, intimated that the goal of Enugu State government is partnering with a competent organisation like iCreate Africa to create a mutually-beneficial ecosystem that positions and encourages MCPs to lead and provide industry-relevant training that will guarantee employment for interested youths.
After the training, each apprentice is assessed, onboarded on the Enugu Skillers platform, and matched with employers/clients within Enugu State and across the country. This initiative has been driven via the flagship loan product of the agency— the Human Capital Development Loan (HCDL) Programme. It is a zero-interest loan used solely for upskilling and training with access to jobs and entrepreneurial support provided upon completion to support loan repayment.