The Premium Bread-makers Association of Nigeria, (PBAN) has commended the Lagos State Employability Trust Fund (LSETF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Bakery Initiatives Group, Nigeria (BIG) for their efforts in imparting requisite baking skills on unemployed youths, thereby contributing in bridging the skills gap in the baking industry.
General Secretary, PBAN, Keinde Ambali, gave the commendation in Lagos, at a Bake-Fair marking the end of an eight-week vocational training in baking and confectionery by the BIG, – one of the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) under the auspices of the Lagos State Employability Support Project, the LSETF and the UNDP.
According to Ambali, the scheme has not only helped in reducing unemployment among the youths but has impacted members of the Association positively as they now have a crop of well-trained bakers to employ.
He pointed out that one the major challenges confronting member-bakeries in PBAN was dearth of trained bakers who really understand the rudiments of the trade, which is what this scheme is helping a great deal to solve.
PBAN, he said, has an MOU with BIG to absorb the trainees on internship under the scheme and the feedback the Association has been receiving from member-bakeries on the interns have been very encouraging.
He therefore urged the agencies involved to continue the good work.
In his welcome remarks at the Fair, Country Representative/Chief Executive Officer, BIG, Ephraim Mbanaso, expressed joy that his company was part of this vocational training put together by LSETF because of the program’s impact in creating opportunities for youths to acquire life changing skills that can turn around their fortunes from being unemployed to becoming successful bakery entrepreneurs.
He also called on the LSETF and the UNDP to take a step further for the realisation of the overall goal of the scheme by empowering the graduands from the training who have proven their capability with loans/grants that can enable them start their own businesses, noting that they have in the course of the training, identified two categories of trainees, those who want to start their own businesses and some who are training to acquire employability skills.
In her own remark, chief executive, Patiti Consulting, Bisola Dere, (the lead consultants to LSETF/UNDP on the project) commended the graduands for patiently and tenaciously going through the eight-week skill acquisition program.
She expressed satisfaction with the various products exhibited at the Fair, which for her is a testimony that they indeed took the training seriously.
She, therefore, charged them to apply their newly acquired skills to better themselves and also impact the society positively in order to fully realise the aims and objectives of the project.
Dere also commended BIG for not only imparting the graduands with very good baking skills as all can see from the products on display at the Fair but for putting the Fair together because it affords the graduands the opportunity of showcasing the skills they recently acquired, thereby boosting their confidence to step into the business world.
Director/head of Training, BIG, Isaac Idowu, informed audience at the event that the curriculum the trainees were exposed is strictly Competency Based Training (BTC) which is in line with the BIG’s philosophy that identifies well-trained and grounded people as the essential pillar for the success of any bakery business.
He, therefore charged the graduands to move into the business world with the confidence that the knowledge they have acquired will help them scale through whatever challenges they might encounter.
The graduands who were full of joy and exuding so much sense of fulfilment expressed their appreciation to the various agencies which made the training possible.