Vocational skills: Germany invests €20m to train 52,000 Nigerians

German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes her oath to serve her fourth term as chancellor following her election by the Bundestag on March 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Members of the new German government, a coalition between Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD), were sworn in today and will begin work immediately. The new government took the longest to create of any government in modern German history following elections last September that left the German Christian Democrats (CDU) as the strongest party but with too few votes in order to have a strong hand in determining the next coalition.
The German Government has said it is investing €20 million in the training of 52,000 Nigerian youths over a period of four years.
Dr. Thomas Kirsch, Country Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit GmBH, said this at a stakeholders meeting on Skills Development for Youth Employment held in Abuja on Thursday.
Kirsch said the German Government was working with different Nigerian partners to identify young people to be trained in close cooperation with governments and the private sector.
He said: “We have some experience from the last three years to successfully train 10,000 people.
“We will train in the coming four years 52,000 young men and women.
“An overall volume of €20 million is made available and this will be invested in staff, equipment and most of the money will go into training of the people.”
Kirsch said the project would focus on training in short term courses aimed at enabling them to acquire empowerment skills after the project.
He also said the priority areas of focus of the project would be in energy, construction and agriculture.
He, however, suggested that both the public and private sectors should commit themselves to ensuring the success of the project.
He said: “It is very much appreciated that we have practical and theoretical training in our programme and that is what we need.
“There has to be real and also financial commitment by the private sector and by the government to bring the two together and then you are able to successfully train this huge number of men and women.”
The SKYE project is a four-year project tenure duration from 2018 to 2022.
The project focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the labour market through Technical and Vocational Education and Training to tackle unemployment, root causes of irregular migration and socio-economic degradation in the country.
Head of Cooperation, German Embassy, Christopher Wenzel, said the German Government was committed to ensuring job creation and skilled labour in line with Nigeria’s economic growth plan.
Wenzel said: “What we try to do as a government is see the potential in Nigeria’s youth.
“We try to make use of that capacity so that youths are trained to deliver services that are needed by so many people.
“So what we want to do through GIZ is to bring together the demand for labour and services together with the supply and I guess that is the challenge.”
Wenzel explained that the programme would ensure that participants got decent jobs after the training.
He said: “We do not want to create a technical training facility that is not used by anyone or having a certain number of people trained only to have them back on the street again.
“You recall, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, did stress in her last meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that there was huge capacity in the Nigerian youths.”
According to Wenzel, both countries were prepared to take advantage of the situation to develop the capacity of the youth for national growth.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Vice President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the sectors identified in the project were starting points for the Nigerian consumers.
Adesugba said: “We identify the necessary gaps and we work with German initiative to determine what skills are needed and we also identify through database, those people who will be most qualified for those skills.”