INDUSTRY FORUM

The Manufacturing, Engineering and Services (MES) Forum was organized by Tributary Initiative for Learning in collaboration with Cummins West Africa on the 12th April 2018 at Institute for Industrial Technology (IIT)

The MES Forum maiden edition titled Technical Workforce Re-engineering focused on enhancing collaboration between technical institutions and industry players; with the hope of gaining knowledge on current industry standards and best practices; challenges in recruiting service technicians and brainstorm on ways to close skills gap before it occurs.

This will ensure that the skills the service technicians possess is relevant to industry need which increases the opportunity to attract, train and retain top service technical talent from the institution

In attendance were representation from Cummins West Africa, Schneider Electric, Eko Hotel and Towers, Provast limited, VACC Technical limited, ETIWA vocational centre, Accentech Services Limited, Integrated Corporate Services Limited, Nenis Auto Care and the Institute for Industrial Technology.

The forum began with a welcome note by Adeniyi Aromolaran and a tour around the Institute for Industrial Technology. The tour afforded the participants an opportunity to experience recent developments in technical education: learning environment, tools and didactic equipment employed for instruction. This was followed by a presentation on the IIT head of studies, Dimobika Chiduluo.

The opening session explored the results of a survey conducted before the Forum, current statistics in Africa on skills shortage and considerations for collaboration as the way forward to availability of future skills.

This was followed by an ice breaker (Apple game) which underscored the essence of the event; which is to break every barrier in policies, processes and operations holding back stakeholders from forming an alliance to improve program value, service technician access to industry and close skills gap.

The interactive session bordered on the following discussions:

Technical and non-technical Skills needed in engineering industries that are of key strategic importance for growth
How Professional Bodies-Industry-Technical Education Institution collaboration can be fostered to improve the value of the institutions program and endorse technician competence.
Development of high-quality apprenticeships in companies.

Some of the challenges identified during the groups discussions are as follows:

Government and HR policies
Complex Internal process
Change of management in organizations can affect collaboration between institutions and companies.
Flawed Educational system with theoretical trainings.
Lack of Technical track record.
The readiness of trainees to work (lack of understanding of industry expectation of the trainees)
Weak Skills transfer/ mentorship from the older to the younger generation.
Stigmatization of Technical education/jobs.
Lack of funding from both Government, Professional institute and Professional bodies.

These challenges have hampered effectiveness of Technical Institutions provide skilled labour to contribute to economic growth.

Some of the possible solutions discussed at the forum from the groups.

Funding can be generated locally and internationally through
Corporate Social Responsibility.
Brochure of Testimonials and track records.
Offering of reducing budgetary cost for mechanical and technical services internationally that is take advantage of windows opportunities from foreign based foundations and Non- profits.
Data, statistics and proven records
Review of government policies on Technical Vocational Education and Training. More functional and operational Professional bodies for TVET
Government should be open to collaborate with Professional bodies and Technical institutions
Continuous training for instructors and adequate remuneration.
Review the curriculum and implementation by stake holders.

The Industry forum was ended by Mr. Olumide Akinjo with a call for  Industries, Professional bodies and Government collaborate to support the Technical institutions with both funding and provision of resources necessary to aid technical skill development.

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