The Lagos State Government has flagged off the 12th Edition of the Tradesmen and Artisans Capacity Building Programme of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment at the Government Technical College, Agindingbi.
In her address at the event, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, said that the training of 2000 tradesmen and artisans is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to the empowerment of residents.
According to her, the upskilling programme was developed to equip the registered members of the informal sector towards becoming 21st-century artisans and tradesmen in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda and ensure that every resident benefits from the policies and programmes of the government to achieve the ‘Greater Lagos’ vision.
She noted that entrepreneurship and employment are twin battlefronts, through which the State can deal with poverty and hunger, adding that only those who have skills will get jobs and only those who are willing can acquire skills.
The capacity building programme, according to her, would broaden the scope of the participants as it was specifically designed to impact positively on their skillset and sharpen their entrepreneurial knowledge to provide a competitive advantage.
Arobieke emphasised that besides the experience, technical and vocational knowledge at the disposal of trainees, friendships, camaraderie, network and bonds built in the course of the training are important elements capable of driving the next stage of productivity. She, therefore, called on the trainees to look beyond the certificates and maximise the inherent opportunities at the programme.
The Commissioner acknowledged that potentials of the sector such as creativity, entrepreneurship development, wealth creation, value addition and employment generation are too important to be ignored by any discerning government, hence the present administration will continue to create platforms for artisans and MSMEs to thrive by focusing on the development of complementary infrastructure to improve competitiveness and productivity locally and globally.
She disclosed that the informal sector, largely populated by artisans, is faced with challenges in the areas of access to market, inadequate or lack of finance and access to capacity development, insisting that these challenges, if not holistically addressed could hinder the growth potentials inherent in the sector.
Giving assurance of the government’s resolve to tackle the challenges by proffering solutions through the development of an online portal, Arobieke said the platform would serve as a marketplace, just as the initiative would modernise the workforce/SMEs to create access and opportunity for consumers to easily engage artisans in any part of the State.
Earlier in her welcome speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Kafayat Ajenifuja, intimated the gathering that the Ministry is establishing Industrial Hubs in different sectors across the State in view of the anticipated multiplier effect within the value-chain.
She admonished those privileged to be part of the training to put the opportunity to good use as it will prepare them for the future.
“We are retraining you to be able to compete favourably in the competitive market. I will encourage you to be dedicated to the training as only 100 % attendance will guarantee the receipt of certification”, Ajenifuja started.