By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the sum of N15.5million as seed funding and grants for final year students enrolled in the Ready.Set.Work (RSW) programme.
The initiative is an entrepreneurship and employability training programme for final year students of tertiary institutions in Lagos State, aimed at preparing them for economic productivity as value-creating employees or employers of labour.
Commencing in June 2016, five hundred (500) promising final year students from Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), and Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET) have been enrolled in a rigorous curriculum either in the employability track or the entrepreneurship track.
At the end of the program, over 90 top performing students in the employability track will be placed in 6-month internship positions with organizations like PwC, SystemSpecs, FCMB, GTBank, Access Bank, TOTAL, Jobberman, Stutern, among others.
With Governor Ambode’s recent financial commitment to the Ready.Set.Work program, up to 80 students in the entrepreneurship track will likewise have the opportunity to partake in three to six-month entrepreneur apprenticeships where they can learn the tricks of the trade, understand and develop processes for various business functions, and build a network of vendors, industry peers, and mentors.
Speaking on the development, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh said that the focus of the initiative from the onset was to provide students in Lagos State with the tools, knowledge, and know-how to become effective employees or job creators.
“We already secured 90 internship slots for students in the employability track of the program and we realized that students in the entrepreneurship track could also benefit from experience in a structured, supervised work setting, where they can learn the rudiments of running a business effectively,” he said.
He said the N15.5m committed by Governor Ambode’s administration would also provide seed funding and working capital for the top three teams to emerge from the RSW Business Pitch Competition, which will hold on September 3rd.
This announcement comes as the 13-week program enters its penultimate week, while a Graduation Ceremony has been scheduled for September to close out the program and celebrate the achievements of students who successfully complete their courses.