General Electric Nigeria said it had empowered a total of 141 entrepreneurs with skills at its Lagos Garage, a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.
The company, which marked the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the facility on Monday, also released a whitepaper, entitled: ‘The Future of Work in Nigeria. Bridging the skills gap: The key to unlocking Nigeria’s inherent potential’ as part of its global ‘The Future of Work’ series to highlight the need for investment in sustainable skills development.
It said the permanent installation of the Lagos Garage, co-located with the GE Lagos offices, offered a year-round series of skills training programmes focused on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.
According to a statement, 141 entrepreneurs have graduated from the programme having been trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as in business development.
It said over 100 prototypes had been developed at the garage with over 40 ideas being transformed into practical business models, adding that about $1m in funding had been secured by graduates of the programme and 12 alumni businesses had won award at home and abroad.
The President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo, said competing in the 21st century global economy required advanced skills development strategies and policies robust enough to adjust to changes in the economic landscape and the associated demands for skills.
He said, “The GE is committed to building a world that works better. We are committed to building skills to meet critical needs and fill skills gaps domestically and globally. Our aim is to achieve success by building collaboration, increasing employability, and engaging the public sector and business community. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to skills development. Indeed, it varies across countries and sectors.
“However, what is constant is the need for both the public and private sectors to come together to ensure that the education system – from traditional structures, to vocational and new approaches are producing the necessary skills for the country’s current needs while anticipating its skills needs in the future.”