The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said on Monday it would bridge the skills gap in industrial training for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their growth. Mr Frank Jacobs, the new president of the association, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. Jacobs said that MAN would invest more on skills training for youths, ailing industries and companies, and also on the upcoming SMEs in the country.
“There is a great need to train Nigerian youths on appropriate technical skills that will meet the requirement of the industrial sector. “MAN, therefore, plans to collaborate with tertiary institutions and research institutes to bridge the gap between the manufacturing sector and the academia, thus improving the skill requirement of industries. “We plan to establish a centre for entrepreneurial studies which will train and develop entrepreneurs, add value to the society and reduce the yearning for paid employment,” he said. Jacobs also said that the MAN Resource Centre would be updated to reposition it to assist small businesses with their business plans and accounts. NAN reports that Mrs. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, the Director-General, Industrial Training Fund had last week lamented the hindrances to effective industrial training in Nigeria. She said lack of training institutes and skilled workforce, wrong attitude of people toward skills acquisition, as well as training, rising insecurity, lack of funds were major impediments to training.