By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. May 17, 2013: An Indian firm, Centum has said it has partnered with International Data Management Services Limited (IDM), a Nigerian ICT training outfit to deliver technology and allied learning in the country.
They announced plans to offer Nigerians practical technical vocational training cited as the secret of job creation in the booming economies of India, Philippines and others.
This was disclosed Wednesday in Lagos at a media briefing that was attended by stakeholders in the ICT training sector.
Sanjeev Duggal, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Centum Learning says the company was advancing vocational education in emerging economies including Nigeria because of its classical reference in turning around the battered Indian economy.
“The launch of the Centum International Academy reiterates our vision to groom youth to develop vocational skills beyond India. By partnering with IDM, we will enable Nigeria youth to acquire employable skills and thus generate income through regular employment or self-employment in Nigeria”, Duggal says.
Centrum says that Nigeria has all it takes to service the world in the technical field considering her teeming population but cites training as the bridge.
According to the company, traditional schooling only makes students literate but has failed to deliver the desired jobs Nigeria craves.
“Traditional education, schools, colleges, universities make us literate but not job-ready. What Nigeria needs is vocational training. Today, countries such as India, Philippines, among others are considered the back office of the world employing millions of undergraduates, graduates, professionally qualified persons offering various forms of services to European, American enterprises”, he adds.
The newly-unveiled Centum International Academy will offer “high end vocational education programs in various professions” in Nigeria.
The company says that its association with IDM was to effectively make significant contributions in bridging the existing gap between the academia and industry requirements with, “its robust learning methodology, cutting edge courseware and best in class faculty”, Centum says.
Under the plan, the pilot partnership arrangement will focus on training in vocations both in short and long term like: Mobile repair, Mobile Engineering, Telecoms Call Centre executives and BPO services executive.
Others are programmes for Customer Service Executive/Managers for various industry segments like Banks, Insurance, IT Products and Services, Telecommunication services, Retail, Logistics and Hospitality.
The second phase will cover other conventional vocational trainings, the company says assuring Nigerian youth of competitive edge in various vocations after undertaking its trainings that culminate in either Certificate or Diploma degree.
Speaking on the opportunities that await trained personnel in the telecoms sector, Atul Kshetry, Chief Executive, IDM notes that the company recently established an international quality Voice-based Customer Care Centre in Abeokuta that offered employment to over 1000 persons in the region that posses requisite set skills.
“This centre currently caters for the Nigerian telecoms industry. This could well be the front runner offering similar services to foreign companies in Africa, America, Europe and Middle East Africa region. Such customer service centres require specialised skills that are very different from that offered in conventional schools and universities”, Kshetry says.
Kamini Prasad, Chief Operating Officer, Professional Education and Training, Centum Learning adds that the expertise of the firm in delivery world-class training has never been disputed considering its popularity in other emerging markets.
“Centum International Academy is running successfully in Bangladesh, so taking cognizance of the Nigerian market, we decided to tie up with a partner of international repute to offer quality education to students in the vocational education space”, Prasad says.
Explaining the terms of the partnership, Jinesh Chandra Dugad, the Managing director of IDM and country head of Tower Group of companies said Centum will be leveraging on its numerous centres nation-wide underscoring this as part of the company’s contribution towards youth development.
“This venture is part of the Tower Group’s commitment to the development of Nigerian youth”, he adds citing that under this agreement IDM will enable a chain of Centum Learning academy centers across Nigeria and Ghana while Centum Learning would provide best in class content, conduct train-the-trainer at regular intervals, audit and will certify candidates jointly with IDM, he says.