Final year students of the Lagos State Government-owned tertiary institutions recently converged on the Faculty of Education Hall, Lagos State University (LASU) for the ‘Ready Set Work’ initiative, an entrepreneurship and employability programme aimed at equipping them with critical skills to either become employable or become employers of labour.
The capacity building programme, an initiative of the ministry of education, will run for 13 weeks (Saturdays) during the second semester in each of the participating institutions, and will be subdivided into three distinct components, employability, entrepreneurship and general modules.
In his remarks, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, described the programme as an opportunity for students to develop themselves, adding that within the period of training, business leaders would be there to speak to and inspire the students.
He said at the end of it, the best 500 would get six months internship placements in high ranking corporate organisations. “We live in a generation where you have no excuse to fail, you can’t blame anybody, what you do with your life is your business, you can be what you want to be. So it is up to you to give your best at the organisation. On completion of the tutelage, outstanding participants will earn internship placement at top blue-chip organisations in the state, or win seed funding for successful pitches of their business plan.”
He advised them to be punctual for the training, saying that once they are one minute late, the doors would be shut against them and late comers who miss any module might not receive their certificate.
The Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Olarewanju Fagbohun, said the training would avail the students of the opportunity to gain practical skills while they are with the organisation, adding that they would have imbibed work ethics such that when they go to any other place, they would be respected and their degree would have value.
“The short-term expectation is that we want to change the mindset of our students to let them know that the world is very competitive and that you must have the skills if you are going to achieve your goals. The long term expectation is that the state is going to benefit from it; Nigeria too will benefit because it will reduce unemployment problems. These people will now be entrepreneurs and those of them in their work places will be able to add value to their environment.”
He commended the state government for choosing LASU for the pilot scheme.
Some of the participants told THISDAY that they would embrace the initiative, which would give them an opportunity to get jobs after graduation. A student of the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, LASU, Miss Olamide Oni argued that the reason why the country produces half-baked graduates is because students are not exposed to sensitisation programmes, adding that students should try and embrace the initiative as it will do them a lot of good.
Another student of the department of Public Administration, Mr. Dare Tose Mautin said, “the programme is okay for graduating students, it is an opportunity to obtain jobs at a particular time, so they should give their best. I have already registered; others should do the same at the right time. ”