Unemployment: Kalu to Sponsor National Apprenticeship Scheme Bill, Support 3000 Youths
Two bills, the National Apprenticeship Scheme bill and another one to allow for more national languages outside English as Nigeria’s lingua franca are in the works and may soon debut in the House of Representatives for debate.
The bills are ultimately contemplated to give a legal framework to the idea of creating more skills and employment for the teeming unskilled youthful population.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu mulled the novel ideas while meeting with the management team of Bildup Integrated Services (Bildup Africa) led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chibuike Aguene during a courtesy visit over the weekend.
National Apprenticeship Scheme is a technology driven dual apprenticeship model designed by Bildup, to blend theoretical education with hands-on practical training.
Kalu who bemoaned Nigeria’s huge population of unskilled youth, said that the apprenticeship system currently practised mostly in South East as “Igba-Boi” where someone undergoes a training in a particular craft or vocation for an agreed number of years and later gets settled by his employer will be institutionalized through a legislative intervention.
He said that the idea was in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is committed to creating more employment opportunities for the citizens especially the youth.
The deputy speaker who commended the acquisition of academic certificates however said it was not enough without a commensurate skill.
He referenced countries like Germany and China with less emphasis on certificates, saying that they have impacted the world with more practicable skills.
Reacting to a piece of technological initiative by the Bildup Integrated Services to encourage the apprenticeship system and boost skills acquisition, Kalu said that efforts are being made to make the three major languages of Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba official to encourage the apprenticeship system.
He reasoned that many youth communicate better in their mother tongues when learning a skill than using English as the nation’s lone official language.
While commending the technology, Kalu pledged his support to the initiative, assuring the sponsorship of 3000 youth across the federation in the first phase of the apprenticeship system to be championed by Bildup Integrated Services in various areas of skills acquisition.
He said: “I would like to express my gratitude for your contributions to skills training, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.
“Your commitment to skills development and entrepreneurship aligns with our nation’s aspirations for economic growth, job creation, and empowerment of our youth.
“I applaud your organization for working on this timely and nationally important National Apprenticeship Scheme.
“At the 10th House of Representatives, we anchor our legislative activities on the core principle of participatory governance. We are laser-focused on delivering a regulatory environment that only supports entrepreneurship development but also encourages commerce and facilitates the growth of the economy. It is in this vein that I acknowledge the calls for supporting legislation that institutionalizes the newly designed National Apprenticeship Scheme.
“Our legislative process is open to constructive dialogue, and we welcome your insights and recommendations. Together, let us work towards a bill that bridges the huge skills gap replete across the country while being the igniting point for an industrial revolution that Nigeria so dearly needs”.
Earlier in his presentation, the CEO of Bildup Integrated Services, Chibuike Aguene requested the support of the Deputy Speaker in projecting a legislative framework that will institutionalise a dual apprenticeship system in Nigeria.
“An institutionalised dual apprenticeship system will act as a conduit, offering a real-world application of the skills acquired through theoretical education. It serves as the vital bridge that transforms academic knowledge into practical expertise, ensuring that individuals not only grasp theoretical concepts but also gain hands-on experience relevant to the demands of their chosen fields”, he said.