Nigeria’s pace-setting leader in the engineering construction sector, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has again taken a practical pioneering effort to bridge a latent skills gap in the industry in the country. The company, historically reputed for enabling remarkable technical solutions to the most daring engineering challenges, has commissioned and launched a Plant and Equipment Academy at its facility in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The company’s Managing Director Engr. Dr Lars Richter who due to competing corporate engagements was unavoidably out of jurisdiction, was ably represented by the company’s executive director of administration, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi who officially inaugurated the Julius Berger Plant and Equipment academy last Friday. Alhaji Bayi however delivered the very warm felicitations of the MD and the executive management to participants at the ceremony.
Alhaji Bayi in his remarks gave context to the emergence of the new Academy when he said, “We are here gathered to launch yet another key mileage in our company’s corporate social responsibility milestones, the launch and inauguration of the Julius Berger Nigeria Plc Plant and Equipment Academy.”Bayi recalled Julius Berger’s proactive commitment to its corporate social responsibilities with due regard to the company’s operational hosts and stakeholders in general. He emphasized the fact that the company’s subsisting ‘Roll-Back-Malaria’ campaign, ‘Food for our Communities’ campaign as well as its educational, medical and other sundry Covid-19 palliative donations, remains intentionally directed to meet the company’s commitment to drive a sustainable and compassionate human interface with the Nigerian society.
According to Bayi, deriving from the same developmental approach, the idea, conceptualization, launch and implementation of the Julius Berger Plant and Equipment Academy is a proud extension of the company’s CSR strategy to further empower the country’s healthy and vibrant youth population with more employable and productive technical skills for reliable and expanded industrial development and nation-building. It is therefore the company’s apt and very hopeful vision for the Academy to be “a leader institution in technical training, Julius Berger’s funnel for dynamic, highly trained and resourceful technicians to fill the needs of the company and industry in general.
Julius Berger’s strategic partner for the Academy is the Armed Forces Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Mechatronic School (AFEME). It is a Technical Training Institute fully registered with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). AFEME is managed by the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the German Technical Advisory Group. The focus of the partnership is to have AFEMEdeliver on all theoretical aspects of the Academy’s curriculum while JBN takes care of the practical aspect of the curriculum. The collaborative effort is free of any charges to the trainees that will be attending the JBN Plant and Equipment Academy. AFEME also will have trainees from its institution partake in practical learning sessions within the JBN Workshops.
Bayi highlighted the substantive and key interventionist objectives of the JBN Plant and Equipment Academy, saying that, the institution is one of those corporate policy plugins created to meet the short and long-term human resource needs especially in the technical field. The academy, he further said, was designed to develop qualified technicians equipped with necessary technical skills set required to deliver exceptional value on their jobs. The skills covers spectrum of different engineering components (mechanical and electrical). The Academy shall be coordinated by the Julius Berger Plant and Equipment Department in collaboration with the company’s human resource department to develop technical employees who will be ready to take up the next available opportunity in their careers. The first run of the Academy will focus on combustion engines and drive trains.
In operational terms, the Armed Forces Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (AFEME) Mechatronic School shall deliver theoretical trainings to staff while the Julius Berger academy shall provide the practical laboratory classes. The first batch of the programme, which has kicked off, will run for 26 weeks (Thursday for Theory classes, and Saturdays for Practical Classes). The theoretical and practical lectures will take place at the AFEME Mechatronic School and JBN’s Plant & Equipment Repair Centre and Workshop.
At the end of the training programme, qualifying certificates will be issued to trainees who are successful in any of the areas of development. The certificates shall be in two categories, namely Master Technical Certificate, which is to be issued based on successful completion of the practical aspect of the area of development; and Certificate of Proficiency,which is to be issued based on successful completion of the theoretical aspect of the area of development.Both certificates shall be issued to trainees based on successful completion of their courses and that is to be determined by final post-learning assessment and the ability to score above the pass benchmark.
To conclude proceedings at the launch of the academy, Alhaji Bayi on behalf of the Managing Director and executive management, wished the management of the new training facility a successful implementation of the vision that founded the Julius Berger Plant and Equipment Academy.
Bayi also encouraged the pioneer set of trainees at the academy who were present at the ceremony to take full advantage of their career development programmes at the facility and make a success of the opportunity the company is affording them at zero cost to trainees. Their training at the academy, Bayi said, represents another of Julius Berger’s extended investment to contribute to the country’s practical industrial success and progress. “Achieving success in your training is therefore to be attended to as a desirable corporate as well as a patriotic calling”, Bayi added.