Delegates from Nigeria have attended the UK Skills seminars organised by the British Council since 2017. The policy dialogue seminar in Cardiff: Apprenticeships: Spotlight on Wales was the third event attended by a delegation from Nigeria. The theme was very timely as development of formal apprenticeships is currently one of the government’s main priorities.
The event in Cardiff provided a great opportunity for the Nigerian delegates to discuss with other participants, experts and British Council staff how the Cardiff experience can be adapted to fit the Nigerian context.
Following up on the policy seminar in Cardiff, Kaduna State Polytechnic hosted a meeting of the school’s management. Beyond what should happen at the Federal level, the school wants to be a front runner in developing apprenticeships. They are impressed with how the colleges in Cardiff successfully participate in apprenticeships and how it improves learning for their students and benefits them as they learn from a real work environment. The Polytechnic set up a committee (headed by the Director, Academic Programmes) to work with the thriving informal industry producing scrap metals – the Panteka Market. This has over 38 sectors and caters for a large percentage of metal fabrication work beyond the northern part of the country. The school is working with the market to improve quality through training. The Polytechnic is looking at awarding apprenticeship diplomas, starting with levels 1 and 2 and then moving to levels 3 and 4.
Professor Bugaje summarises his Cardiff experience thus ‘it was a very inspiring moment for me, having seen apprenticeship training working perfectly well in Cardiff, facilitating not only TVET but also close collaboration between industry and academia, a model that Nigeria badly needs at the moment and a challenge that Kaduna Polytechnic is determined to address by taking the in apprenticeship training in Nigeria'.