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Skills Agenda and Apprenticeship System in the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa (SASASNET)

In an effort to address the growing demand for skilled labor and bridge the unemployment gap in sub-Saharan Africa, the Sub-Saharan Africa Skills and Apprenticeship Stakeholders Network (SASASNET) has organised a formal launch and workshop on the skills and apprenticeship system in sub-Saharan Africa.

The event was a two-day program that took place from July 24–25, 2023, at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Abuja. It gathered important and relevant personalities who are actively involved in the decision-making and policy-making processes in Nigeria as well as in its member countries.

The purpose of the two-day convergence was to share knowledge and experience regarding policies and practice on how to preserve and improve apprenticeship systems in the informal economy to promote quality, innovation, economic development, and social justice, and to support policy dialogue for the incorporation of these good practices into national and regional training and employment promotion policies. It brought together representatives of governments, experts, training institutions, employers and workers’ organisations, crafts associations, and their federations from selected countries in Africa.

The idea was conceived at a workshop that was held in February 2023 in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and the network seeks to accompany the countries in the process of evolving and implementing national and continental policies and strategies that will enhance skills and apprenticeship to address the development challenges facing the world.

The Vice President, who was represented by the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Andrew Adejo, emphasized the pressing need to bridge the development gaps in science and technology across the continent and the need for media to popularize the mission of the program for maximum awareness. Also, Hon. Ousman Sillah, Secretary General of SASASNET from Gambia, gave a briefing on the necessity to empower the youth in skills and apprenticeship programs to ensure growth and development across Africa.

Let’s not forget that in all this, there is a need for safety rules and procedures to be actively integrated in the training and apprenticeship program to ensure the well-being of participants and to create a conducive learning environment by ensuring that the program adheres to all relevant safety and health regulations and standards set by the local, regional, and national authorities, which may include workplace safety regulations, hazard communication standards, and occupational health guidelines.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHAssociation), as one of the most prominent professional organization in the field of Safety, health, and environment, has taken the leverage to engage actively in this program following the high rate of incidents associated with skills acquisition and apprenticeship. We should all know that the Safety and Health of participants as well as trainers and supervisors is a priority and a key factor in ensuring the success of the program.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHAssociation) has the mandate of supervising and monitoring the training activities to ensure that there are experienced and qualified supervisors overseeing the training process by equipping the supervisors with knowledge about safety protocols and intervening if unsafe practices are observed in order to ensure maximum safety and zero incidents during the learning process.

 

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