In an effort to reduce occupational accidents and breed professionals for the construction industry, a safety firm, Rated Cranes and Scaffold Nig. Ltd., has partnered the Lagos State Government to empower over one thousand Lagos youths and the unemployed across the state with skill on plants and heavy equipment use.
The training which kicked off at the Gbagada Youth and Skill Acquisition Centre, in Gbagada, Lagos, held from 24-31 of May.
Speaking at the opening of the training, Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile -Yusuf, said that the empowerment programme was aimed at reducing the rate of unemployment and adding value to the life of the youths who are prone to engage in vices if their energy is not put to good use.
The commissioner represented by the Director of Schools and Social Services at the youth ministry, Mrs. Foluke Omotosho, said that the training is a self development programme for the young people in the State and is expected to tackle the unemployment challenges among the youths in the Nigeria.
She said, “By indication, the unemployment rate in the country has led to the increase in the social menace in our society. This training will be a platform for youths to learn and acquire the technical and vocational skills which will make them self-employed and enable them set up their own businesses and create more jobs in our society.
“The platform will help youths in Lagos to see beyond where they are and it will also provide a good opportunity for them to be self reliant and on the long run help them to cater for their family.”
Omotosho added that partnering with the private sector to run this plant and heavy duty equipment training was also an avenue to encourage the acquisition of technical skills.
She further urged participants to take advantage of the programme to learn and enhance their knowledge in this field and valuable in the labor market as their work will be more appreciated if they are technically sound.
Akinbile called on corporate bodies and other organizations to partner with the State government by coming up with ideas aimed at empowering the next generation.
In his remark, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Social development, Mr. Hakeem Muri Okunola, represented by the Director of Youth Empowerment at the ministry, Mr. Idowu Ademosun, established that one of the major problems of the nation was unemployment, stating that the training was coming at no better time as this.
He said, “As we are all aware, one of the major problems facing this country today is unemployment. A lot of our youths are involved in unacceptable acts like armed robbery, prostitution amongst many others and we must do everything within our powers to reduce it.
“One of the basic strategies to address this problem is by providing the adequate empowerment and vocational training programs that will engage youths and make them employers of labour rather than job seekers.”
Okunola added, “The ministry of youths and social development remain committed to this revolution in the State, knowing that the youths constitute the future of any nation. There is a need to create an enabling environment for the youths so that they can become responsible people in the nearest future.
“The problem of unemployment in the country requires a collaborative effort from the private sector, civil society, and academics.”
He urged the youths to demonstrate a high level of commitment, and dedication during the training session adding that the training will propel them to greater heights at the end of the day.
Mr. Kehinde Ologuntoye, Managing Director, Rated Cranes and Scaffold Nig. Ltd., said that his company was first a safety company that trains people on how to do things right and live safe. This accounts for why the training will also include the demands of Manufacturing Safety officer and Construction safety officer.
Ologuntoye said providing the practical training was an opportunity for youths to improve their standard of living by getting the required training in plant and heavy equipment for employment in the construction industry.
He said, “We like to empower and impact people. We want to see youths and the unemployed get employment. We want to see them become independent.
“I am extremely happy that the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development have taken the opportunity to see what they can do for the people in the state especially the youths.”
He further implored the youths to follow rules and regulations while going on with the training stressing that there were hazards that accompanied the construction Industry training.
Participants are expected to learn skills in Mobile Crane Operation, Wheel Loader Operation, Excavator Operation, Scaffold Erection, Truck /trailer driving amongst others.