Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday at the Ready Set Work (RSW) 3.0 graduation ceremony in Lagos congratulated the graduands and commended volunteers, partners, and sponsors of the programme.
Mr Ambode in his address said “I feel so excited, I got this right. I have made a difference. This is not about bridges, flyovers, it is not about hospitals. I feel so excited that I got this right. The energy inside the hall positively indicates that there is a different world here from what is happening in other places.”
Mr Ambode who commended the committed sponsors, facilitators, volunteers stressed the importance of sustaining the programme.
“Programmes like Ready Set Work, Code Lagos, and the Employment Trust Fund must not be allowed to die,” said Mr Ambode. He appealed to the audience that Ready Set Work is the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria and appreciated the heads of the tertiary institutions.
ReadySetWork, an annual “employability and entrepreneurship program” was initiated by the Akinwunmi Ambode led administration in 2016 with 500 participants and 52 volunteers and in 2018 with about 5000 participants and 498 volunteers.
This is set to bridge the skill gap between final year students and the labour market through a13-weeks (Saturdays), intensive training program across three designated training centers in Lagos, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, and Lagos State Polytechnics (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu.
The initiative featured a 13-weeks training, Global Challenge competition, a business pitch competition and internship fair.
The Global pitch competition sponsored by Business Newspaper is a sort of quiz which revolves around issues of different sectors of; business and economy, politics, current affairs, entertainment, sports and others with five representatives from each of the centres.
A team of five representatives of each centre were chosen after a series of global challenge competition at the class level during the course of 13 weeks intensive training. At the final round, the Lagos State University (LASU) training centre took the lead as University of Lagos centre came second and the Lagos state polytechnic centre came third.
The winners of the business pitch competition were announced on Tuesday, 30 October 2018. The first placed winner was Vivian Afolayan of Glow Palace, and the second is Popoola of Eko Laundry and the third is Adeniyi Mariam of The Snail Factory.
The internship fair was held at the University of Lagos (Unilag), Akoka, multipurpose hall for final year students across eight higher institutions in Lagos state.
Over 200 companies participated in the internship fair, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Total, Lead Way Assurance, Nestle, SystemSpecs, BussinessDay and others.
Speaking about the internship fair, Adekunle Adewole, LASU Center Coordinator said that although “we observe a few lapses in terms of how to arrange but we got over it later”, the programme was successful. Ready Set Work internship fair avails final year undergraduates the opportunity to “get interviewed at least three times. Some got interviewed more than three times, some less than three.”
Mr Adewole said RSW was to equip the final year students with the knowledge of the “real world”. I spoke with a number of students and their feedback shows that our efforts were rewarding.
“The aim of RSW is to create a platform for final year students, higher institutions in Lagos State for them to stand on. And they will be heads and shoulder above all other students in the country because of the eleven weeks training,” Mr Adewole added.
Funke Medun, an interviewer from LeapWorld Limited said that the students were “fantastic”. Another from ReDahlia company, who sought anonymity said: “some were ready, some were not”.
Seun Abimbola, a volunteer facilitator said that the job fair is “unique. It is one where a student actually gets a real life experience…and I think that even employers have ample time to go through a number of students, even if they are not hiring today, they have CVs they can go through in future”.
He said that the programme did not only prepare students for the labour market but also put them in front of employers.
Bakare Afolabi, a student from the Caleb University mentioned that the program was “nice and it is a good opportunity”. However, he said, “they wasted my time and I could not get interviewed”.
Adeleke Ajibola, a student from UNILAG, said that RSW was “great”. However, he faulted the arrangement of the internship fair that it was crowdy. He said that the fair could have been held at the three designated centres with the companies’ representatives.
“We that came in later were at a disadvantage because companies that I would have liked to interview with like Nestle they already had people that they wanted and I had to go to companies that were not related to my field,” he said.
“The job fair is fair, many people got a complete job…some other people got absolutely none,” said Iyitor Jonathan, a participant from Yaba College of Technology said. Iyitor said that “mechanical engineering was so scarce…and some companies said they don’t need them for now.”
In attendance, were the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr.Obafela Bank-Olemoh, Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Olanrewaju Fagbohun.
Ready Set Work Participants (students) is said to have about 5000 participants (students) in Lagos that cut across the Lagos State University (LASU), University of Lagos (Unilag), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos State Polytechnics (LASPOTECH), Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET), Caleb University, and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED).
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