As part of efforts to address skills gap in Nigeria, the German Embassy has expressed the need for development and training of youth.
Speaking at the presentation of Austrian-German-Swiss Business Outlook (AGSBO) 2019, a Delegate in the German Embassy, Dr. Marc Lucassen, noted the huge skill gap in the technical fields, adding that the Embassy was willing to partner with government on training.
He also stated Embassies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland are very active in the area of skills development across the country, noting that development collaboration was very important.
According to him, “We are willing to partner with Nigeria in solving the problem of skilled labour and one of our major constraints is the availability of skilled labour. One of the things we want to do is to establish a large German vocation centre which will not necessarily be for Germans, but whoever is willing in being part of the vocational training scheme in terms of financing, on job and off job training.
“In Adamawa, I established 10 vocational training centres, with 2,800 apprentices. Therefore, I understand clearly what the issues are, especially the needs and reality and how to bridge the gap. But it is very long way. If you want to train somebody professionally, you need two or four years. You need to train people on the job, they have to learn and understand the craft, and it is expensive.
“It is an issue and it is constraint from the political perspective. What the German companies are doing presently is that they are training in house which is very expensive.”
In his remarks, the Consul General of Switzerland in Lagos, Mr. Yves Nicolet, commended the delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria for presenting the survey, adding that the challenges that the Swiss companies face in the country were similar to those by Germany and Austria.
He explained that it was important to know not only the problems that could be faced in Nigeria, but also what kind of successes can be obtained.
Nicolet, maintained that it was important to know how the Swiss companies perceive the situation in the country and the future of the economy, what the expectations and objectives of those companies are.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Commercial Attaché, Austrian Embassy, Mr. Hannes Scheiner, said since 1960s, Nigerians have been choosing Austrian lace textiles as well as Guinea brocade and damask for their traditional attires, and we are currently working on re-launching ‘Austrian lace’.
He added that the country’s main export product is high quality machinery for the manufacturing industry.