From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
The Kwara State government has commenced the establishment of the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) located at Ajase-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Council of the state.
The institute aims to equip youths with vital skills to reduce unemployment in the state.
The foundation-laying of the college was done on September 11, 2012, with the vision to equip youths with skills for self-reliance, tackle unemployment, and ease access to vocational training of international standard for students from a variety of skills and educational backgrounds.
Since then, the college has been undergoing series of construction to become a vital institution meant to train youths in skills acquisition and to serve as market for those interested in recruiting trained youths of the college.
The college has five fields of study in building technology, automotive trade, electric trade, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning and welding. The college’s curriculum was also designed to assist the students meet any future challenges especially in seeking employment opportunities in any part of the country and outside world.
Aside this, the college has partnered the City and Guilds of London that would afford the students quality teaching on world trade and acquisitions; thereby adding value to their certificates at the end of their courses at the college.
The college was recently commissioned by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to signal the commencement of academic work at the institution.
Speaking at the official unveiling of the college, Governor Adulwahab Ahmed said: “Today marks a milestone in the history of Kwara State, as we take a huge leap towards our dream of providing multi-layered platforms for vocational and technical training to citizens and emerging as a sub-regional hub for skills,”
He said, “IVTEC offers a structured approach to providing youths with market-relevant skills and a reliable pathway to economic empowerment that prevents a descent into negative and destructive behaviour often associated with unemployment.
“Globally, technical, vocational and entrepreneurship trainings have been identified as critical to growth, especially in industrialization. As you are aware, Nigeria’s previous experimentation with technical education has faltered in the face of neglect and an expanding gap between the schools’ curricula and the needs of the economy.
“These lapses have resulted in an educational system that is neither robust enough to accommodate the aspiration of youths nor capable of preparing them for the increasingly competitive economic space. And unless we act promptly, we risk the escalation of the scourge of unemployment into a serious malaise with grave security implications” he said.
Ahmed added, “Our establishment of IVTEC is therefore driven by the need to offer the best technical, vocational and entrepreneurship training to our young people and prepare them for entrepreneurship or gainful employment.
“IVTEC is doing this by benchmarking against standards in vocational education and also through partnerships with globally recognised certification bodies such as City and Guilds of London”.
“The college is also partnering institutions like Alfred State College, New York and the University of Wolverhampton; both of which have proven track-records in entrepreneurship and vocational education.
“In line with the mission mentioned earlier, IVTEC is open to students with three basic skill levels: first, fresh school leavers seeking to acquire technical and vocational skills for setting up their businesses; two, tertiary education graduates who want to diversify into other fields by accessing new skills and, three, professionals seeking continuous professional development”.
He also said, “IVTEC’s recruitment of students will also target vulnerable and disadvantaged youths in the state to ensure their socio-economic circumstances do not become a barrier to their life aspirations. Indeed, we are already partnering the World Bank to train 17,000 youths identified as vulnerable in the state, starting with an initial 80 students.
“Regardless of educational background, IVTEC will prepare students for the globally-renowned City and Guilds of London qualification, National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) certification and other vocation-specific qualifications.