In order to empower young graduate engineers in the country with skills that will enable them mature in their chosen career, the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, NIME, officially flagged off Forging Africa Mechanical Engineers (FAFME)-ITF 3 months Hands-on internship programme recently in Lagos.
The training which was organised with the support of Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom (UK) will end in February 2021 with hundred young Nigerian graduate engineers in participation.
Speaking at the Industrial Skill Training Center Lagos, where 50 graduate engineers are currently undergoing skill training, Grant Awardee of Royal Academy, United Kingdom, Engr. Osazoduwa Agbonenii, affirmed that the training was ideal as it would aid to bridge the gap between the academy and the industry.
“It is perceived that most Nigerian graduates are not skillful enough to meet with the demands in the labour market, hence the reason for the training.
“We understand that graduates especially in engineering need more training and retraining to be able to withstand the challenge in the labour force”, she said.
Speaking further, Agboneni who is also the Project Coordinator of FAFME, stressed the need for more female students to take advantage in the engineering profession and added that skills involved were enough avenues to influence Nigerian’s economic positively.
On STEM, she explained that Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE in 2018 proposed the ‘Inclusion and Diversity Policy’ geared towards encouraging more female gender to take advantage in engineering, “There are sentiments that mechanical engineering is a masculine profession and that girls are not encouraged to acquire knowledge through the course.
“We have started the sensitisation from the grassroots by engaging organisations saddled with the responsibility of advocating gender equality Although, the result might not be instant,but we are optimistic that it is feasible”, she added. On the number of expected trainees, she said, 50 graduates are presently undergoing after which we will train 50 graduates more and in total, we will train 100 graduates. She, however, called for partnership with organisations to train more graduates saying only the government’s efforts is not enough.
“We are looking at proper training in terms of safety and security for the engineers, in order to allow for professionalism and reduced accident on the highway”, she added.
One of the trainees, Miss Adebayo Tosin, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, urged her female counterparts to see mechanical engineering as an avenue to bridge the gap in gender inequality.
“What you need in engineering is strength. I will encourage more female to take advantage in engineering because it is gender-biased” she said.
Speaking earlier, Deputy Director and the Training Manager Industrial Skills Training Center (ISTC) Ikeja Lagos, Engr. Fanope James Adekunle commended the organisers of the training and urged the trainees to take advantage of the three months training .