Updated: Apr 15
Technical vocational education and training (TVET) provides learners with the specific training they need to do a job well. It gets them into the workforce and helps them to start earning wages needed to lift them and their families out of poverty. It also helps individuals who are already skilled in a trade to become even better at the jobs they do by expanding and honing their current skills to stay relevant in today’s economy.
When businesses invest in TVET programmes, they in turn, get graduates who are ready to hit the ground running when they work. They require little on-the-job training because they have practical work experience from their training programmes and pertinent classroom education. These employees are productive, which can increase sales, and thus increase the need to hire more skilled workers. The GDP of the country rises, and more businesses are started. Furthermore, businesses that provide apprenticeship and work-study partnerships with TVET programmes create a funnel for gaining and retaining knowledgeable and dedicated employees.
Currently, the news about employment in Nigeria isn’t that encouraging. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the population of unemployed people was 28.58 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Over 70 percent of the country’s population is under the age of 30, United Nations, 2015. On top of this, the population keeps growing. According to Country meters Nigeria’s population is projected to reach 194,615,054 at the beginning of 2018. These statistics seem to indicate there are plenty of people who can and want to be part of the labour force in Nigeria. However, the country lacks the facilities, industries, public offices, or administration that could build a working system to provide employment opportunities to support this remarkable population growth.
Despite this dismal outlook there is a great opportunity for Nigeria to reform and restructure vocational education to make it work. Is there really an option not to? The future of this nation depends on it. Other countries have been successful in providing sound education for the masses, which has dramatically impacted their economies in a positive way, countries such as India, Brazil and Malaysia.
Programmes for technical and vocational education and training are on the rise, and the stigma surrounding TVET instead of, or in addition to, university education is lessening around the world. Innovative practices exist that give individuals opportunities to find gainful employment by providing them with the up-to-date education necessary to fill vital jobs in the economy.
With a supportive and cooperative approach by government, industry, and civil society, TVET will make a positive impact on the economy of Nigeria. Developing countries, particularly in Africa, need to start thinking innovatively and radically. With millions of people needing training now, we need thousands of vocational institutions and teachers to deliver TVET. We therefore need more new and inventive ways of thinking regarding the educational models being used. Which includes models which scale up whilst providing real impact, whether formal or informal. This is made even more possible with modern technology today. We also need the private sector to have a more sustained collaborative partnership with the government in policy making and training delivery to make an effective change to the TVET system.