How General Electric is driving skills development in Nigeria

Since 2014, General Electric has been creating skills development initiatives in Nigeria, notably with its launch of Lagos Garage, an immersive, four-week entrepreneurship programme dedicated to accelerating advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.

Co-located with the GE Lagos offices in Victoria Island, the Lagos Garage offers a year-round series of skills training programmes focused on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Till date, 140 entrepreneurs have graduated from the programme having been trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as in business development.

This year, a partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will further see General Electric drive more skills development in Nigeria with a new training programme, Start & Improve Your Business (SIYB) designed to empower Youth Corps members with valuable entrepreneurial skills.

The overall goal of the programme is to improve on and increase the capacity of the youth in building Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that can operate effectively and be sustainable long-term.

Mohammed Mijindadi, Managing Director of GE Gas Power Systems in Nigeria says the program works using a Train-the-Trainer approach where NYSC personnel and facilitators are trained utilizing an international curriculum benchmarked to global standards. Following that, the facilitators are supported to execute training programmes for all youth corps members across the country.

“[The programme] is a practical business management-training programme with a focus on starting and improving small businesses,” says Mijindadi.

The SIYB programme initiative is part of GE’s commitment to skills development in Nigeria in support of the Nigerian government’s job creation objectives.

It is hoped that the programme would help the government achieve its plans to create 15 million jobs by 2020 as indicated in its 2017 Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).