The Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) Skills Acquisition Centre has graduated 67 trainees in 12 different vocational skills amidst funfair and commendations for the brain behind the project.
The first graduation ceremony of the skills acquisition centre, which commenced operation in 2018 attracted the donor, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, YABATECH Rector, Mr. Obafemi Omokungbe and principal officers of the college, senior pastors of the Redeemer Christian Church of God (RCCG), Rector of Redeemer’s College of Technology and Management, Ogun State, Dr. Stella Mofounanya and one of her deputies, Pastor T.A. Olaniyan, members of Rose of Sharon, Mr. Kolade Oshinowo, retired former deputy rector of the college, students and parents of graduands.
Addressing the gathering amidst encomium, songs and dance by the graduating students, the founder Folorunso Alakija Skills Acquisition Centre, Mrs. Alakija said the centre offers 12 vocational skills, which include barbing, hairdressing, bead making, shoemaking, welding and fabrication, fashion design, make-up, catering, soap making, wig making, millinery, and computer sided design.
Alakija said the vision of the acquisition centre was borne out of her desire to empower people, especially the youth, with skills to enable them to provide for themselves and become productive members of the society.
“The graduands have been taken through rigorous best training from seasoned and experienced professionals. We are confident that they have acquired the skills that will make them stand out in their respective vocations.
“I am pleased to present the catalogue showcasing the different products of our students and graduands. Their qualities are a clear testimony of the difference this initiative has made in their lives and the ultimate impact on the Nigerian economy.”
The founder of the skills acquisition centre congratulated the 67 graduands for completing the vocational skills training and revealed that among them are widows from Rose of Sharon.
She appreciated Utopia Media, which paid training fees of 11 students and provided tools, Mr. Oshinowo, foot the bills of some trainees and gave out working tools and RCCG, paid fees for some trainees and made available tools to the graduands.
In his remarks, YABATECH Rector, Omokungbe, an engineer disclosed that the training centre, tools, and equipment were donated by Mrs. Folorunso Alakija and commended her for promoting skills acquisition among the youth.
Omokungbe told the 67 graduates that ‘’the training is to make you self-reliant and it is our hope that the skills and knowledge that you have acquired will be deployed to improve your status and self-confidence.’’
The rector charged the graduating trainees to go out and take their destiny in their hand, start their businesses, adding ‘’start small and grow big.’’
His words: ‘’One major means of solving the problem of unemployment in Nigeria is skill training and youth empowerment. The training programme of the college is designed to provide an opportunity for the teeming unemployed youth to acquire skills that will enhance their self-sustenance and promote national growth.
‘’A skilled population is the basis for national growth. If we must join the developed nations, we must pay more attention to skill and entrepreneurship training of our youth.’’
Omokungbe called on private and public organisations to join hand and support the skill training project of the college, stressing ‘’it is the only way to overcome the challenges of youth unemployment.’’
The Coordinator, Skills Acquisition Centre, Dr. Mofunanya, said start kits would be given to trainees that were exceptional both in learning and character, stating ‘’this will encourage them to practice the skills they have acquired.’
She urged the 67 graduating trainees to make use of the skills they have acquired as a tool to contribute their quota towards the development of the nation by being employers of labour rather than job seekers.
Thirteen years old, Enumah Angel of Command Day Secondary School, Ikeja, who wants to be a medical doctor said her love for tailoring made her enroll in the centre and it has helped in her school assignments.
‘’It was not easy during the training period. The stress was too much for me to cope with alongside my school assignments. The older colleagues in the class were supportive and often help out in practical assignments. The deadline for the project nearly made me give up, ‘’ Enumah stated.
For thirteen-year-old, Aigbomian Esele, an SS1 pupil of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, expressed delight in completing the training, which made her acquire additional skill on tailoring.
Esele said: ‘’Some of my colleagues were happy that I participated in the skill acquisition training. I want to be a medical doctor but I love fashion. My parents encouraged me and my schooling did not hinder my completing the training.’’