Interviews

IWS boss Folashade Oyeniyi on the importance of skill acquisition

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, the International Women Skills Centre, graduated 24 budding entrepreneurs. The programme is aimed at turning young people to micro business owners and set them apart from job seekers and turn them to potential employers of labour.

ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the President of the organization, Mrs. Folashade Oyeniyi, where she spoke about the importance of acquiring vocational education and much more.

How will you describe today?

We are graduating our students at the skills centre. Today is special because the students are sponsored by Barclays. About 27 of them have scholarships from Barclays and we hope they will continue because of what the pilot programme represents.

Do you think acquiring skills will help solve unemployment?

People have now realized that white collar job is no longer there and if there is any, it’s very few. So, it is better to learn a trade, be skilled and do something that will earn you a living. We have many graduates here, even NYSC is partnering us. So youth corpers can acquire skills and learn a trade.

Even if they are not employed by the government or corporate organizations, they can be an employer of labour and earn honest living.

But a lot of people don’t know International Woman Skills Acquisition Centre?

I don’t agree with you. It has been existing for 57 years. The centre which doubles as our secretariat started 15 years ago. Every year we turn out students. In July 2014, we graduated over 100 students, but this one is special because it was sponsored by Barclays.

It’s very popular, especially around here. We have people supporting us because we are a charity home, we depend on donations from individuals and corporate organizations. The more assistance we get, expansion will come automatically.

Do you have other branches?

No. It’s just here, we don’t have other branches. However, we have other projects outside Lagos. We have a home for abandoned children at Ijebu Ode. We are in Lagos, but our charity organization is not restricted to Lagos only. We sponsor children. We have scholarship programmes for sponsoring undergraduates, secondary school students to enable them complete their programmes.

Is International Women Skills Centre making a move to partner government?

For instance, the skills centre is partnering government. Directorate of employment work with us and NYSC too, reputable government organizations are interested in the kind of things we are doing. Vocational skill is in vogue now, but people don’t realize the importance of being able to do something yourself, to become your own master, earn a living and decide whatever you want to do with it.

If you are hardworking, the result will come. It’s not like in government where salary does not change. So many people have now realized the importance of vocational education. You will be able to employ people and earn profit for yourself.

How does the training go here?

We have a curriculum, normal government curriculum for vocational education, that is what we call it.

As the president, how will you describe your tenure?

My tenure as president would wind up in another month but it’s been a wonderful experience.

What were some of the challenges you faced?

They’re just the normal challenges where you have to deal with so many people. But it’s been fun. The ladies are quite good and I have enjoyed every bit of it.

-AJOKE ONITOLO

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