By Merit Ibe
The National Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has lamented shortage of semi-skilled labour, saying it is having serious implication for both businesses and the economy.
President of the association, John Udeagbala, who made the remark at the just concluded Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said it was becoming difficult to find semi-skilled workforce like electricians, plumbers, welders, fitters, machinist, bricklayers, plasters etc.
He explained that the manufacturing and construction sectors were experiencing some shortage and needed collaboration to resolve this growing challenge.
Applauding the Federal Government for realising the need to partner the organised private sector (OPS) to find a lasting solution as contained in the Executive order 5, Udeagbala urged government to walk the talk by actively collaborating with the association to work with member companies whose factories can also be used as training centers to ensure that the identified gaps are closed.
“The MDAs shall work with the OPS in consultation with other relevant government agencies both at federal and state levels to achieve sustainable personnel development, training of Nigerian professionals, contractors, and technocrats contractors.”
He called on companies that have factories and were ready to join in this project to contact the association.
“We implore government to put appropriate machineries in place to actualise the development of the semi-skilled workforce.”
He further disclosed that the private sector in partnership with SEQUA with the support of the GIZ implemented program Skills Development for Youth Employment – SKYE, funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) were already working to ensure the development of a standard and acceptable occupational profiles and curriculum for Technical and Vocational Education in Nigeria.
“This is a step the OPS is taking to upscale semi-skill training and make them available.”
The NACCIMA boss said the theme of the fair “Connecting Businesses, Creating Values,” was apt and emphasised the place and contributions of SMEs to the GDP.
He said it is obvious that our Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) require a lot of support for sustained economic growth, development and notably, most of the exhibitors and participants were MSMEs.