NIGERIA – Swiss technology group Bühler is set to expand the Trainee and Intern Development Program at Bühler’s office in Lagos in an effort to bridge the technical skills gap in Nigeria.

The expanded program structured similarly to the Swiss vocational education training model (VET) is comprised of a traineeship (2 years) and an internship program (6 months)

The best candidates from the 48 that the company plans to take into the program will be offered a full-time position within its Nigeria business.

The program is supported by a grant from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and is aimed at supporting young Nigerians in their education.

It also hopes to enhance their professional capacities and technical skills as service engineers and commercial employees, according to Nicolas Lang, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and ECOWAS.

“In addition, trainees are given the opportunity to gain international experience in Switzerland and other countries during their training,” Lang, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and ECOWAS.

The program comes at a time when Nigeria is facing a learning crisis with 53% of 10-year-olds neither having the ability to read nor write.

This negative trajectory is further fueled by the challenging political and economic climate in Nigeria that has caused youth unemployment to skyrocket to a staggering 53%, according to 2020 figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria. 

Rewarding and stable jobs are scarce in Nigeria forcing many educated and highly skilled young Nigerians to leave the country.

Nigerians even coined their own phrase for it: “(to) japa”, which means (to) run, flee, or escape in the local Yoruba language.

As a responsible corporate citizen, Bühler seeks to change this narrative by providing young, talented Nigerians employment combined with training and education.

“By investing in education and training, Bühler aims to give the Nigerian youth the tools they need to succeed in life and reach their full potential,” the company said. 

Bühler plans to onboard 30-50% female participants to promote diversity and inclusion and has partnered with the Nigerian charity organization Trinitas Foundation, which supports talent engagement and selection.

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