The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing says it will establish Building Craft Training Schools in the six geo-political zones in the country for the training of artisans and craftsmen.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Abubakar Magaji, stated this on Thursday at a one day stakeholders’ validation workshop on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the building trades.

Magaji was represented by the Director, Building and Quantity Survey Department in the ministry, Mrs Salma Mohammed.

The permanent secretary said there was urgent need to upgrade the skills and competencies of artisans and craftsmen, to enable them to meet the aspiration in the built industry.

“A well-articulated skills development plan for the building sector would empower and create employment opportunities for the idle youths.

“This would not only impact the economy positively, it would also improve the security situation in the country.

“To this end, this ministry is proposing the establishment of building craft training schools in each of the six geo-political zones in addition to the existing ones in Lagos, Abuja and Ikeduru, Imo State.’’

Magaji also said the ministry was collaborating with both local and foreign organisations for the training of artisans and craftsmen in order to acquire the National Occupational Standards.

He identified the organisations to include Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dangote Group of Companies, Lafarge Cement Plc and a U.S.-based Home Builders Institute.

The permanent secretary commended the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) for its effort in the accreditation and regulation of the building programmes in tertiary education institutions across the country.

He, however, urged CORBON to sustain its commitment to the development of the capacity of practitioners and collaboration with other professionals in the built sector.

“Government has noted with satisfaction the achievements of CORBON in the areas of accreditation for building programmes in the universities and polytechnics, regular registration and induction of eligible builders.

“Also worthy of commendation is your regular mandatory continuous professional development, and now the National Occupational Standards for the appropriate skills of building trades in Nigeria,’’ Magaji said.

Earlier, the Chairman of CORBON, Prof. Kabir Bala, said that the National Board for Technical Education had mandated the body to oversee the training and certification of artisans and craftsmen.

Bala explained that the NOS were subject to review every three years to accommodate the dynamism in the materials and construction industry.

“NBTE has mandated us to train and certify artisans and craftsmen under the National Vocational Qualification Framework, leading to licensing them for improved service delivery.

“We have, therefore, designed these workable NOS to address the industry challenges with respect to our collective needs.

“It is for stakeholders to digest and add value where desirable for the enhancement and improvement of quality delivery of our industry tradesmen.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the validation exercise will cover selected construction industry trades such as carpentry, plumbing, masonry, electrical installations, steel fabrication as well as painting and decoration works. (NAN)

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