…challenges Public and Private Sector to establish a statewide internship system in Kwara
By Isqil Najim
Young Engineers have been advised to be prepared for opportunities despite the various challenges facing them. This will enable them take advantage when a door opens for them. This was contained in a message by the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of mechanical Engineers, NIMechE, Engr Funmilade Akingbagbohun during the recently organised one week CAD and Design training sponsored by the Kwara State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr Sulaiman Rotimi Iliasu
The event which was the Closing Ceremony one-week CAD training and development of Design Concept for Kwara state youths, was a part of collaborative efforts by the institution to bridge the gap between industry and academy and provide basic skills for young engineers to become employable.
Akingbagbohun praised Engr Sulaiman Rotimi Iliasu whose magnanimity make the training possible for hundred or young kwara Youths. “You have demonstrated the perfect example of selflessness and also show us that senior engineers are ever ready to support our youth. Your track records and career have been a testimony of your exemplary traits and leadership.” She said
She also thanked the elders elders and facilitators who offered their full support to the quest to contribute to development of Kwara Youths through Engineering.
Explaining the reason behind the training, Akingbagbohun said that many of the skills needed to compete in labour market are not perfected in classroom. She added that NIMechE as a Professional Association has the mandate to bridge the gap and equip members, young and old, with skills needed for them to elevate their status as professionals. She said this will go a long way in helping then have a competitive edge in their chosen career.
Advising the young graduates, Akingbagbohun said there are various opportunities that they can tap fro. But they must prepare for the opportunity. “Engineering is a practical course. Many young engineers have graduated but do not have the skill or experience to compete in a system where experience is becoming the reason for their inability to break through.”
Speaking on national importance of the training. Akingbagbohun said that “Nigeria’s ambition to become an industrialized nation is dependent on creative designers who can come up with new products, new concepts, innovative ideas that prove to be game changer.
“Design engineers identify complex design problems, conduct root-cause failure analyses, and anticipate production issues. They then develop innovative design solutions, evaluate options, conduct tests, and implement solutions to meet timing, product cost and reliability targets.
She urged young engineers to “develop additional skills outside of technical knowledge. most especially soft skills.
She challenged the industries and Government establishment in kwara State to come together to create a workable statewide internship system that will enable fresh young graduates in Kwara gain experience which will give them leverage in advancement of their career.
In her word:, “I am using this moment to implore Kwara state government and parastatals to begin to give more young engineers opportunity to have internship at the specialist MDAs and partnering private sectors. Such internship can open a window of opportunities for many young engineers of Kwara origin to acquire experience. The best performers among them can be retained to motivate future participants. The economic impact of such approach to youth development is immeasurable.
“Our elders at Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE and Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, NIMechE and other Divisions should put a process in motion to make this workable. Let us revive the pupillage. Even if you will not employ them after their internship, the experience acquired will be a gateway for many of them to find job opportunities in other industries,” she said.
The sponsor, Engineer Sulaiman Rotimi Iliasu, who noted that the world of work is evolving with different skill sets in demand by organizations noted that the NIMechE as a professional association has the mandate to bridge the gap between academy and industry as well as equip members, young and old with skills needed for them to elevate their status as professionals.
He also said that the government would continue to champion the course of engineers in the state, urging the participants to make good use of what they had been taught and be good ambassadors to their various institutions and the state in general.
Some of the participants also expressed gratitude for the skills they had acquired in their profession and pledged to make good use of them.