By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
The Lagos State Government on Thursday announced the opening of its website to register intending applicants for the 2017 edition of Ready.Set.Work (RSW) scheme which is an entrepreneurship and employability initiative designed to equip final year students of tertiary institutions in the State with the right skills to add value to the society.
Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, who disclosed this at a news conference, said interested applicants would be able to access the website – www.readysetwork.com.ng from June 16, while the training will run from July 1 to September 16, 2017.
He said as an improvement on the initiative which started in 2016, students of six tertiary institutions in the State would benefit, while three centres have been designated to host the training.
The six institutions, according to Bank-Olemoh are Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (ACCOED), Lagos State College of Health Science (LASCOHET), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Lagos State University (LASU), Michael Otedola College of Education (MOCPED) and University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Bank-Olemoh said out of the 12, 000 students, 2,000 final year students would be selected for the training at the three designated centres, while the remaining 10,000 would be selected from students in their penultimate year at the institutions and trained through the online platform and also registered for the RSW Academy.
He said: “When the administration of Governor Ambode came on board, one of the issues he was confronted with from the private sector was that there were major gaps in the work readiness of graduates, and his immediate response was to come up with a scheme to equip graduates from our tertiary institutions with the right skills needed to add value to the society.
“And so, the vision of the RSW is that every graduate from a tertiary institution situated in Lagos must have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to gain meaningful employment or be self-employed and our plan is to train all graduates in tertiary institutions through the RSW.”
He said beneficiaries of the scheme would be selected to participate only on competence, and would be trained for thirteen weeks on labour market, mindset reorientation, 21st century skills, entrepreneurship, employability skills and teacher track.
He said about 750 of the beneficiaries would be helped to secure internship placement and given skill for life, while there would also be seed funding for winners of the business pitch competition to be held as part of the training.
Responding to questions on sustainability of the scheme and the need to accommodate other tertiary institutions in the State, Bank-Olemoh said plans are afoot to integrate the RSW into the education curriculum of the State, and also expand the modules as well as the benefiting institutions.
Out of the 500 students that were registered for the scheme in 2016, only 422 graduated after the rigorous training with Sarunmi Oluwafemi and Dada Samuel who emerged as the overall winners of the pitch competition walking away with N6million seed funding and N100, 000 monthly working capital for six months.
The second and third place winners also got N500, 000 and N250, 000 respectively with N100,000 working capital for six months.