The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on Tuesday underscored the need for the standadisation of technical and vocational skills for national industrial growth.
Mr Olusola Majiyagbe, Executive Director, National Skills and Qualification Division of NBTE, said this in Abeokuta, at the commencement of a three-day training on “National Occupation Standards”.
The training was organised by the MBTE and the GIZ, the German Development Agency.
Majiyagbe, who is the facilitator at the event, expressed concern about the challenges confronting Nigeria’s technical and vocational education, saying that it had hindered the growth of the industrial sector.
He listed the challenges as poor funding of technical institutions, proliferation of illegal technical institutions, obsolete equipment in technical institutions and low societal estimation of graduates of technical institutions.
He, however, explained that the challenges could be resolved through the adoption of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), developed to achieve the occupational standardisation.
Majiyagbe described the framework as “an instrument for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competence, acquired through variety of ways by artisans.”
Speaking on the prospects of occupational standardisation, the executive director said that it would provide policy guidelines on the organisation of skills training to improve quality of products, productivity and competitiveness, in both formal and informal sectors.
He said that it would also provide a coherent structure for vocational qualifications, which would be based on employment-led standards of competence.
“It will also expand training opportunities, so that they are more evenly spread across the workforce, meeting the needs of all enterprises more equitably.
“It will also provide a system for up-skilling and re-skilling of Nigerian youths and working adults,” he said.
Majiyagbe said that the agency had, in the past 10 years, continued to harmonise training standards and train quality assurance assessors and verifiers.
He added that the agency had approved selected centres as assessment centres and had produced a framework for a skills-development policy for the nation, among others.
He, however, expressed concern that in spite of the efforts of the NBTE at standardising technical skills, many artisans were still unaware of the process and the prospects.
Majiyagbe said that the training had become necessary to create awareness on the process and stimulate the interest of Nigerian youths in technical and vocational education.
Prof. Joseph Odemuyiwa, Special Adviser to Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, commended the organisers for the training.
He described the training as part of efforts to ensure that artisans acquired the requisite skills that were required by various industries.
Participants at the training include artisans and heads of technical institutions in Ogun State.