‘Quality vocational training’ll yield benefits’

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Concerned stakeholders in the public and private sectors have begun collaboration with newly launched Vocational and Professional Development Academy (VPDA) in Lagos to deliver excellent vocational education to Nigerians.
Founder of VPDA, Dr. Ekua Abudu, who spoke during the “Soft Opening Building 1” of the academy, said that seeing a Nigeria with a better and healthy workforce was the reason for the establishment of the academy.
She said that the academy, which would soon commence academic activities, was committed to closing the skills gaps, reduce unemployment and bring economic growth, explaining that the courses, which are globally recognized, would also provide “a good pathway to employment in the construction, maintenance, services and related industries”.
She added that the academy would offer courses in plumbing, electrical installations, plastering, carpentry and woodwork, bricklaying, refrigerating and air-conditioning.
“There would also be courses in ICT, film production, food safety and hygiene for the hospitality industry, as well as specialised programmes in oil and gas sector.
“All these are designed to offer opportunity for those who cannot access the formal education to receive certified training in their field of interest.
“Consistent questions that came to mind included why workmen fixed the same thing again and again? Why do most of the Nigerian Construction sites employ Togolese and Ghanaians and Chinese? So many claim to have received some form of training and yet they are still unemployable. This, coupled with repeated problems with electricity and plumbing at my home and in my business, increased my passion to start a vocational school, but one with the highest standards, which is why we commenced talks with City and Guilds.
“The Yaba academy is a pilot and the first of many branches which will be replicated through Lagos, Nigeria and parts of West Africa. Delivering excellent standard of education, which meets international standards is our major goal. This is why we offer International Vocational Qualifications, and we have partnered with International Awarding Bodies and Vocational Colleges in the United Kingdom, leveraging on best practice in vocational education delivery, thus ensuring our qualifications meet international industry standards”, she added.
Commending the Custodian Insurance Plc support, Abudu expressed hope that the academy will meet and surpass its expected goals. She also lauded the board members of the academy.
Chairperson of Custodian Social Responsibility Foundation, Mrs. Mimi Ade Odiachi, said: “When individuals are well trained to enter the workforce, they become competitive and the society benefits. Our major concern is to narrow the skills gap so that more people would be employable”.

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