The Kwara State Government’s Shared Prosperity Programme of creating high quality technical and vocational experts for the West African sub-region yesterday received a boost with the foundation-laying of the International Vocational Centre, Ajasse-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking at the occasion, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the N1.4 billion vocational centre is part of his administration’s resolve to “create a new generation of highly employable artisans and prosperous youth entrepreneurs through the provision of market-relevant skills under our Share Prosperity Programme.”
According to the governor, the centre will, through modernised vocational training, premised on world class standards, turn senior secondary school leavers, polytechnic and university graduates into well-trained artisan ready to create jobs and contribute to the country’s prosperity.
Ahmed emphasised that the graduates of the International Vocational Centre who would be awarded globally recognised certificates and diplomas moderated by the London-based City and Guilds will, on completion of their courses, be marketable and employable youths while the state will become a reputable hub for vocational and technical skills in West Africa.
He explained that the state government consulted widely with the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and others in the business community as part of efforts to make the vocational centre of world standard.
He added that the centre would run on a good mix of practical and theoretical learning with well-equipped classrooms and practical skill development areas, especially in marine and port operation, agriculture, hospitality, catering as well as engineering, construction skills fashion design and textiles.
Ahmed, who said the vocational centre would widen the frontiers of job opportunities, recalled that his administration has created job opportunities for over 2,000 youths, absorbed 1,430 into the mainstream of the state civil service and brokered 10,000 public work jobs through the Federal Government.
The governor noted that his administration’s youth-friendly policies were borne out of the realisation that the youths need to be successful economic actors because they constitute over seventy percent of the population.