- FG to Address Funding Constraints to SIWES
The Federal Government on Wednesday said it was taking steps to address some of the impediments facing the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, stated this at the opening session of the SIWES expanded stakeholders’ meeting held in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by the Industrial Training Fund.
The SIWES is a skills training programme established in 1973 and designed to expose and prepare students of universities and other tertiary institutions for the industrial work situation they are likely to meet after graduation.
Enelamah said while the expectations of government for the programme had not been fully realised due to myriads of challenges, steps were being taken to find lasting solutions to the problems affecting the programme.
The minister stated, “Although expectations of government have not been fully realised due to myriads of challenges, the ITF has so far midwifed the programme effectively on behalf of the Federal Government.
“Given the Federal Government’s posture to bring about economic recovery and growth, the upgrading of our educational curriculum through an articulated process of developing our young men and women in their fields of endeavour cannot be overemphasized.”
The Director-General, ITF, Mr. Joseph Ari, said the challenges of implementing a seamless SIWES had adversely affected the intention, which the scheme was meant to achieve.
He listed some of the challenges affecting the smooth implementation of the scheme as poor funding and astronomical increase in students’ enrolment as a result of continued increase in the number of tertiary educational institutions.
Others are increase in the number of approved courses, limited placement opportunities in industries, late submission of placement lists by supervisory agencies, and misconceptions about SIWES allowance.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Sam Egwu, called on the management of the ITF to reduce the overhead costs involved in running the scheme to make more money available for the payment of students’ allowances.