EMPOWERING, REGULATING AND CONTROLLING APPRENTICESHIP IN NIGERIA FOR EMPLOYMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Authors: ACHUGO EUSEBIUS & CLEMENT C. CHIGBO
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Apprenticeship, as it is being regulated and supervised by the old medieval guilds is not so today. Government enacts apprenticeship programs for youth empowerment, while some centuries ago, social thinkers were unanimous in their thought that apprentices, grown into artisans and entrepreneurs were to be the mainstay of the economy. This thinking is showing relevance today, with the increase in unemployment in the nation due to inadequate apprenticeship skill learning, regulating, enforcement and control of this process to self reliance and development. With this study we went into this area of labour relation, apprenticeship and skill development and we noted that apprenticeship and skill development has not been new to society. It was a way of training in the informal sector for those who were unable to get formal education that would lead to a white collar job. Today the jobs are scarce, and there is need that people acquire skills and trades to be self reliant, employers of labour, if they do not get the official post in the government.
Apprenticeship training and skills learning is the remedy to this situation. But it is not being regulated, and controlled as it is done by the old guilds. Government enacts apprenticeship programs for youths empowerment and Developments but does not enforce its functionality with internal controls and regulations. As a result programs are enacted as the “political thing” but not achieved. In the course of this study we saw that Nigeria has the manpower and places to train young school leavers in various skills like the Nnewi Industrial centre, the Ariara shoe makers manufacturers centre in Aba, the Lagos Computer Village, Electronic dealers, and the Agodi Gate motor spare parts and mechanics in Ibadan. These places could be pivot centers for training our school leavers and graduates in apprenticeship and skills acquisition, if well supervised, regulated, controlled and financed adequately. They could help the government in training youths to be self reliant and entrepreneurs themselves, thereby developing the nation.
The paper discovered that lack of proper regulation, control, and enforcement of the existing objectives of the apprenticeship program and skills mars its fruitful achievement.
The paper therefore recommended that for the realization of its objectives in this sector, government should partner with the private sector and financially fund both masters and apprentices adequately, with take of grants, setup up labour control councils for Apprenticeship trainings, who would go about to enforce, regulate and control the apprentices and their masters constantly to see that they oblige to the obligations of the contract to its fruitful end.