Nestlé Nigeria empowers youth with technical skills

At the graduation of batch four of its Technical Training Center in Ogun State recently, Nestlé Nigeria reiterated its commitment to youth empowerment under its global flagship program, ‘Nestlé Needs YOUth’ which aims to help 10 million young people worldwide access economic opportunities by 2030.

Through Nestlé Needs YOUth initiatives, the company has reached over 12,000 young Nigerians through career fairs, entrepreneurship programs and skills training, equipping them to find decent employment or profitable

Nestlé Technical Training Centers (TTC) at Agbara and Abaji are a key part of the company’s efforts towards ensuring that youth within its communities are future ready. With the aim to bridge the technical skills gap, participants receive vocational training in machining, mechanical fitting operations, electrical operations,instrumentation operations and automation. The training follows an intensive 18-month theoretical and practical engineering syllabus, which culminates in the prestigious City and Guilds of London technician certifications.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony attended by stakeholders, community leaders and parents, Mr. Sola Akinyosoye, Nestlé Nigeria’s Head of Human Resources, said, “Nestlé is determined to help young people develop
future ready skills that will position them to find decent employment or create their own businesses if they choose to do so. We believe strongly that communities cannot thrive if they fail to create opportunities for future generations.

We will therefore continue to invest in education and capacity development of youth to help reduce the burden of unemployment. I am proud of the quality of graduates produced by this scheme and particularly glad, that all the graduates we are celebrating today have been employed by Nestlé Nigeria.

Also speaking at the event, The Nigeria Country Manager, City & Guilds, Engineer Martins Adeleke commended the performance, hard work and enthusiasm of the graduates, pointing out that the best graduating student of the set who also came out tops in Africa is now recognized internationally.

Reflecting on his experience, top graduating student, Taiwo Olayade, said, “The Technical Training Program was a great boost to my intellectual prowess and has broadened my sphere of academic knowledge, thus giving me a professional edge in the corporate world. Having been trained in Nigeria and Switzerland, I am confident to say that I have acquired the needed skills and outstanding practical experience for employability in this great program”.

With an estimated youth unemployment rate of 20 percent as at 2019, there is an urgent need to enhance the Industrial Sector which is one of the backbones of Nigeria’s economy, creating jobs and providing sustainable
means of livelihood for multiple players across its value chains. Training the next generation of technical specialists will help accelerate industrialization.

Nestlé Nigeria PLC opened her first Technical Training Center at her Agbara factory in 2011 and the Abaji Center in 2017 to reach more participants. The program has been supported by the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria since
inception and recently got the attention of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) which now supports the training Center in Abaji in collaboration with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA). To date, over 100 participants have successfully completed the program with over 90% employed directly by Nestlé.