Determined to boost skills development in the country and reduce the dearth of technical skills among Nigerian youths, the Samsung Engineering Academy in Lagos, last week graduated the fourth batch of trained technicians who passed through the academy.
At this year’s graduation, 72 technicians, comprising young boys and girls, graduated from its class of 2016. They joined the 257 graduates, who have passed through the institution over the last four years, and who are expected to deepen the pool of well-trained technicians in the country.
With over 170 million people and a high rate of population growth, the World Bank estimates that Nigeria needs to create an additional 40 to 50 million jobs between now and 2030 â€“ a compelling reason for both the public and private sectors within the country to sit up and take notice.
It was with this challenge in mind that Samsung established the West Africa Engineering Academy in 2012, to create a pool of technically-skilled graduates who are either eligible for employment or are able to start their own businesses.
Training Manager, Samsung Engineering Academy, Mr. Dickinson Odikayo, said the students were trained for 21 months (18 months in school and three months intensive training at Samsung Engineering Academy).
“The training is grouped into categories: basic class, intermediary class and advanced class. We train them on how to repair and install consumer electronics, that ranges from refrigerator, fridge, washing mashing, air conditioners, deep fryer, microwave oven, mobile phones, among others,” Odikayo said.
These new graduates are trained to become employees in repair centres, and assembly lines, or to become independent entrepreneurs. Some of Samsungâ€™s service partners also help employ these graduates.
Head of Customer Service, Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA), Mr. Raymond, Olatokun, said the training was borne out of the need to fill the technical skills gap in the country.
“We train people who have some skills in technical courses and we train them to be more equipped with advanced technical skills that will help them find jobs or even set up their our business, offering technical services to customers. At the end if the training programme, Samsung employs some of them directly,” Olatokun said.
Managing Director for Samsung West Africa. Mr. Changwook Lee, said: â€œSamsungâ€™s aim is to build successful partnerships in Nigeria to equip the countryâ€™s youth with the technical skills they need to transform their lives and contribute to the development of the country.â€
According to him, Samsung Engineering Academy revolutionises traditional education by providing technical and vocational training for school leavers, tertiary students and unemployed youth.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, said the Samsung Engineering Academy is a great initiative which has given hope to youths with technical skills and equipped them to become technicians in electronics engineering.
Since its inception, the academy has trained over 800 students across the three trade areas (household appliances, information and mobile, and audio visual) under basic, intermediate and advance trainings.