The flagship collaboration programme between Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN and Tranos Consulting Limited, has produced the first set of graduates. The initiative, tagged Tools and Tiaras commenced in May and involves intense weeks of practical hand-on training at the factory of Tranos Contracting Limited located on Ikeja Industrial Estate Lagos.
During the graduation of the first beneficiaries, six of female graduate engineers who completed the training were offered automatic employment by the company.
The Managing Director, Engr. Jude Abalaka, speaking at the event expressed delight that the programme produces its first Graduating set. he explained that COVID 19 pandemic delayed the original take-off which was scheduled to be last year. He said that the company is proud to collaborate with APWEN to achieve the goal. He added that the Tranos is deploying more efforts to contribute to the capacity development in the country by filling a gap that is visible. He promised that the scheme will be expanded as the industry need more skilled workers, and people to drive growth in the sector.
On her part, the president of Association of Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Engr Funmilola Ojelade, represented by the AWPEN National Publicity Secretary Engr Bosede Oyekunle was elated at the success of the programme. Speaking through Oyekunle she said APWEN is satisfied with the partnership. She said APWEN hope to have more women benefit from the collaboration between it and Tranos. She expressed the determination of the Association to sustain the relationship and commit time and resources into the collaboration. She said the benefits of the effort will manifest in coming years.
Earlier while presenting the opening address, Ms. Ayoyimika Odunuga, Assistant Manager, Performance Management, Learning and Development provided more insight into the scheme. She said that the scheme is a part of the efforts towards contributing to national development and also supporting gender parity, while also providing employment to the outstanding ones.
According to her, the entire programme covers two stages which is theoretical and practical (on the job training.) Of the 11 trainees, five completed theoretical training and voluntarily withdrew while the remaining 6 completed the entire training. Assessments were conducted periodically.
Odunuga enthused that the beneficiaries have bright future in the industry if they could garner more industry experience and practice what they have been taught. She praised their work attitude to learning during the training.
On his part, Mr Joseph Walter, an international trainer with vast experience across the continent commended the graduating set and expressed optimism that they will achieve greatness in their career. According to him, the female participants performed beyond expectations. He added that although the field has always been male dominated, times are changing and more female participations should be encouraged. He encouraged those who did not participate in the Practical stage to continue to build on their skills though every available means they find themselves while urging those who completed the course to go all the way and make the best of the skills.
Also speaking at the event are Engr. Mrs Mary Eichi-Ali, the production Engineer, and head of Human Resources department Mrs. Olayinka who in their various contributions said the company is working towards bridging the gender gap that is why they brings in female trainees, and because it is a male dominated industry, the company makes sure to hire females whenever they can and equip them with right training to assist them succeed.
Trained by experts drawn across boards, the trainees passed through various production processes such as, welding, machine Operators (Gasket, Injection molding), Assemblers, Powder-coating, etc. At the end of the programme, the final participants are reported to have scored over 80% in performance and therefore all given automatic employment by the company.
After the ceremony, the beneficiaries were offered counselling at the conference hall of the company. Engr Atinuke Owolabi, Mrs Olayinka, Head Human Resources and Engr Funmi Akingbagbohun, Deputy national chairman, NIMechE all took turn to provide career tips to the successful beneficiaries of the first Edition of Tool and Tiara.
Mrs Olayinka stressed the importance of Character towards professional success. Engr Bosede Oyekunle emphasized the values of discipline and urged the beneficiaries who have not registered with professional association to do so. Engr Atinuke Wuraola-Owolabi and Engr Funmi Akingbagbohin provide tips on succeeding in male Dominated field and encourage the ladies to distinguish themselves.
In attendance are a former president of APWEN, Engr. Idiat Amusu, a founding member of APWEN, Engr Funmilayo Kadiri, National Admin Secretary, Mrs. Ngozi Egbeyon, National Publicity Secretary, Engr Bosede Oyekunle, Engr (Dr.) Funmilade Akingbagbohun, APWENLagos Financial Secretary, Engr Atinuke Owolabi (representing APWENLagos Chairman, Engr Mary Afolayan) and APWENLagos Publicity Secretary, Engr Olayemi Fayokun
It will be recalled that APWEN under the leadership of Engr Funmilola Ojelade and Tranos had in May launched Tools & Tiara Initiatives which offers paid internship training opportunity for young female Engineers to build the capacity of young women in selected technical fields and provides opportunity for them to acquire experiences needed for their career advancement.
While the scheme was ongoing, precisely, second week of July , APWEN, President Engr Funmilola Ojelade delegated a two-man team to the factory as part of the on-the-job work appraisal. Some of the trainees who spoke to by the team expressed satisfaction at their works and appreciated the initiative.
Tranos is an engineering and manufacturing leader; adding value to lives through innovative solutions. In over 12 years of existence, Tranos has grown into a reputable and internationally recognized brand, providing innovative products like: Enclosures, Electrical Panels, Switchgears, Cable Trays and Ladders, Racks, Switches and Sockets. Tranos also provides fabrication, installation and maintenance services to the oil and gas industry.
Report by Isqil Najim, additional report by Mariam Haruna