Anthonia, an indigene of Edo State with an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Engineering from the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, aspires to develop her technical competence in order to secure a good job in her chosen field. “I need to earn an income to meet my needs and to support my family,” she said.
Nestlé Technical Training Center, Flowergate is the third facility set up by Nestlé in the country, in line with her commitment to helping young people build the capabilities and skills they need to contribute towards accelerating industrialization.
The first technical training centre was inaugurated in 2011 at Nestlé’s Agbara factory in Ogun State and in 2017, opened the second centre in the Abaji factory, in the Federal Capital Territory to cater to young people in the Northern part of the country.
Trainees participate in an intensive 18-month program that builds their competence in machining, mechanical fitting operations, electrical operations, instrumentation operations, and automation, culminating in the prestigious London City and Guilds technical certification examination.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Flowergate TTC, the MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Wassim Elhusseini said, “The technical training program is an initiative of our global flagship program, Nestlé Needs Youth. The program is one of the sustainable pathways through which we contribute to meeting the technical needs of the industry while enabling young Nigerians access to economic opportunities. Young people have a key role to play in shaping the future we desire. We are determined to remain at the forefront of the fight against youth unemployment by helping young people develop the capabilities and skills they need to contribute towards accelerating the industrialization we need to grow our economy”.
Participants at the ceremony included parents, trainees, the Traditional Ruler of Remoland and community leaders, representatives of the Government of Ogun State, Industry associations, and program partners including the Switzerland Embassy and Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbagbu said, “The set-up of Nestlé’s third technical training center in the country and second in Ogun State attests to her commitment to manpower development, capacity building, and technical skills acquisition, also focus areas for the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. I sincerely appreciate the company for her investments in building the competencies of young people over the years and for her support and collaboration in the State Government’s effort towards improving technical education in the state”.
In his comments, Mr. Wale Oyerinde, Director General, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) said “With the rising unemployment and challenged educational system, one of the sure paths to rapid national development is Technical and vocational skills development. We commend Nestlé for her commitment and massive investment, not only in youth development but also in skills and National development. This effort is commendable and also worthy of emulation by other companies”.
Also speaking at the event, the Ogun State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare said, “I congratulate Nestlé Nigeria as she continues to contribute to the development of young people in Ogun State and the nation by prioritizing skills development and job creation. I am particularly delighted that the vision of the company is in tandem with the focus on youth empowerment by the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led Administration”.
HRM, Alaiyeluwa Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland said, “We are proud to be associated with Nestlé, particularly on the commencement of this wonderful initiative. I commend the Management of the company for investing in the technical education of young people, who are the future of the country. We will make sure the company continues to have the enabling environment to continue to do good for and within this community”.
Expressing her delight on behalf of the trainees, Anthonia Ehibor, said, “We are excited to be the pioneer students of Nestlé technical training centre, Flowergate. We appreciate Nestlé Nigeria for creating this opportunity for us to gain the skills we need to be future-ready. We look forward to learning, sharing ideas, and networking within the 18 months of the training. You can count on us to put in the hard work and commitment required to make you and our parents proud”.
Over 160 students have benefitted from the technical training program since its inception, with 95% of them directly employed by Nestlé Nigeria. Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Shakiru Lawal, announced the resumption of 50 new students across the three training centres at Agbara, Abaji, and Flowergate in the past week.