The Samsung Nigeria Engineering Academy in Lagos recently graduated another 72 technicians from its class of 2016. They join the 257 graduates who have passed through the institution over the last five years, and who are expected to deepen the pool of well-trained technicians in the country.
With over 170 million people and a high rate of population growth, the World Bank estimates that Nigeria needs to create an additional 40 to 50 million jobs between now and 2030 – a compelling reason for both the public and private sectors within the country to sit up and take notice.
It was with this challenge in mind that Samsung established the West Africa Engineering Academy in 2012, to create a pool of technically-skilled graduates who are either eligible for employment or are able to start their own businesses.
These new graduates are trained to become employees in repair centres, and assembly lines, or to become independent entrepreneurs. Some of Samsung’s service partners also help employ these graduates.
“Samsung’s aim is to build successful partnerships in Nigeria to equip the country’s youth with the technical skills they need to transform their lives and contribute to the development of the country,” says Mr. Changwook Lee, Managing Director for Samsung West Africa. He adds that the Samsung Engineering Academy revolutionizes traditional education by providing technical and vocational training for school leavers, tertiary students and unemployed youth.
Since its inception, the SEA Lagos has trained over 800 students across the three trade areas (Household Appliances, Information and Mobile, and Audio Visual) under Basic, Intermediate and Advance Trainings.
The academy’s most recent set of graduates have all been provided with tool boxes in line with their specialised trade area, to better equip them for the future as entrepreneurs or as part of a skilled workforce. The top three achievers were also awarded prizes comprised of various Samsung electronic products.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, said that the Samsung Engineering Academy is a great initiative which has given hope to youths with technical skills and equipped them to become technicians in electronics engineering.
According to Mrs. Erogbogbo, these technical skills will not only help the engineers to build a better future for themselves, but will also contribute towards Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
The academy was established to empower indigent Nigerians and positively impact communities, says Judith Kelechi Osuji, Corporate Citizenship Manager at Samsung West Africa. “Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and we believe education is the seed of innovation. Our hope is that through initiatives like the Samsung Engineering Academy we can empower the youth by creating opportunities that will lead to sustainable employment.”
This year’s top graduate, Ozurumba Kelechi, said: “As a direct result of my training at the academy, I am now better equipped as a technician. Using the Samsung Engineering Academy as a platform to empower young people like myself is rewarding, not just for me, but for the people around me – my community, Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
The Samsung Engineering Academy enrols over 1000 students yearly across various countries in Africa with the aim of closing the gap between skills and demand in the job market. Graduates have a 40% job placement track record, while others go on to pursue further higher education, training or start their own businesses.