2,000 students get Lagos employability skills
On Saturday, 2,000 final year students of six tertiary institutions in Lagos State will begin the first of 24 sessions for the second edition of the Ready Set Work (RSW), a skill and employability initiative of the Lagos State government aimed at preparing young graduates for the labour market.
The students were selected from the three institutions that participated in the maiden edition last year and another three schools. The schools include Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), and Lagos State College of Health Technology. Participants were also drawn from Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, (MOCPED), Norforija, Epe, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Unlike the other schools, UNILAG is not owned by the Lagos State government, but the opportunity was extended to its students on the request of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who is an alumnus of the school.
During the 13-week programme, the students will be exposed to sessions by industry leaders, soft skills, employability and entrepreneurship training that would culminate in a business grant competition and paid internship placement in reputable companies for the best of the lot.
Skills they would gain include: critical thinking, team work, analytical, problem solving, creativity, communication, how to run businesses, among others.
With the inclusion of two colleges of education this year, there would also be a teaching tract to expose trainee teachers to skills needed to deliver quality tuition in a 21st century classroom.
Last year, 192 successful students out of 500 were placed on six-month paid internships with firms like PWC, SystemSpecs, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, Access Bank, Total and others.
This year, the Special Adviser on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, whose office is driving the project, said efforts are being made to increase the internship slots to 700.
Ahead of the programme, led a team to all the institutions to sensitize students to register and prepare to do things differently. He said the programme was the Lagos State government’s response to the problem of unemployable graduates from schools, and warned them that punctuality and regular attendance were necessary for graduation.
He said: “RSW is an opportunity for you to improve your skills. For those that will get into the programme, I ask you to give your best. It is serious business; it is for people who want to get ahead in life. We start 9am -5pm. If you are late we will shut the doors. You have to attend 21 out of 24 sessions to get a certificate,” he said.
Bank-Olemoh also said that participants that will take part next year would have to register this year and complete an online course to make them eligible for the programme next year.
“For this year, we will have face-to-face classes for 2,000 people, while we will open the RSW Academy online for 10,000 students in their penultimate year. They will take online courses for three to six months. If you don’t take part in your penultimate year, you cannot take part in your final year,” he said.
Alumni of the Season 1 of the RSW shared testimonies of how the programme changed their lives.
Jamiewill Onotoju, a graduate of LASPOTECH who interned at Total, said RSW taught him punctuality and accountability, which stood him out during his internship. He urged those coming behind to be committed.
“Every day, I got to work by 6.15am though I live at Ikorodu. My bosses wondered how I made it when even workers don’t get there that early. RSW taught us to be accountable. When my boss asked about 12noon what I had done each day, I was able to tell him a number of things. He asked if I anticipated the question,” said Onotoju.
Another alumna, Temitope Kasali, whose internship was extended by FCMB, said it was a good learning experience. She called for more companies from various sectors of the economy to key into the programme, “so there can be more slots for internship placement.”