In line with its commitment to skills development in Nigeria, GE (NYSE: GE), the world’s premier Digital Industrial Company has announced a partnership with the country's National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), to empower Youth Corps members with valuable entrepreneurial skills.
The training programme is tagged 'Start & Improve Your Business' (SIYB), and is based on an International Labour Organization (ILO) curriculum. It will see thousands of youth corps members receive critical entrepreneurial training, with an overall goal of improving on, and increasing the capacity of the youth in effectively building Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Mohammed Mijindadi (Managing Director of GE Gas Power Systems in Nigeria) explained that the program works using a Train the Trainer approach where NYSC personnel and facilitators are trained utilising an international curriculum benchmarked to global standards. Following that, the facilitators are supported to execute training programs for all youth corps members across the country. The initiative, Mijindadi added, “is a practical business management-training programme with a focus on starting and improving small businesses.”
The SIYB program initiative is part of GE’s commitment to skills development in Nigeria in support of the Federal Government’s goals to create 15 million jobs by 2020 as indicated in its 2017 Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
Responding to the gesture, NYSC Chief, Brigadier-General Kazaure, asserted that the SIYB program is aligned with, and complimentary to the Corps' efforts in setting up skill acquisition centres in the Nigeria's six geo-political zones. He expressed interest in continuing to partner with GE to build capacity and asked other private sector players to similarly engage the agency.
Speaking further on the partnership, Roti Balogun (Chief Talent and Skills Development Leader for GE Africa and Corporate Champion for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Human Capital Development commission) added: "We are pleased to lead a private sector response to some of our commitments from the recently concluded NES23 summit on skills, competencies and capacity building with a focused strategy on faculty development in Nigeria. We remain committed to entrepreneurial leadership development across the continent with programs such as the SIYB."
Mr. Mijindadi concluded: “We are committed to the sustainable development of Africa and Nigeria in particular, and as such we invest in skills development initiatives that empower people with valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology and elevate ideas that are helping to solve Africa's challenges.”
GE has created several skills development initiatives in Nigeria, with one of the most notable being being the Lagos Garage - a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.
Co-located with the GE Lagos offices in Victoria Island, the Lagos Garage offers a year-round series of skills training programs focused on building the of Nigerian entrepreneurs. Till date, 140 next-generation Nigerian entrepreneurs have graduated the program having received training in advanced manufacturing technologies, as well as in business development.