Apprenticeship System in Nigeria – The Problems and Prospects of Apprenticeship System in Nigeria.

Apprenticeship System in Nigeria – The Problems and Prospects of Apprenticeship System in Nigeria.

The Problems and Prospects of Apprenticeship System in Nigeria – Basically, there are various aspects of difficulty bedeviling the apprenticeship training and development in Nigeria which requires problem solving strategies to curb the situation.

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There is need to tackle the problem of lack of stability in the entire system of apprenticeship. What has become the Nigerian factor in this regard and other sectors of economy is inconsistency in running its programmes. The blatant truth is that some of the apprenticeship programmes are no more functional and some are at the verge of winding up. Most times, the change in government brings about all these because the programme can either be dropped or neglected or given less priority. For instance, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) established under the administration of President Ibrahim Babangida following the short-comings from Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) has been paid little attention despite being n existence.

National Directorate of Employment constituted as far back as 26th March, 1986 in one of its four programmes runs National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (NOAS) which attach apprentices to companies, ministries, parastatals, organized private sector (OPS) and professional craftsmen and women. It has now become a thing of past.

In another development, in an exclusive chat held with Mr. F.C. Udeh, Senior Manager (Training center, ANAMMCO Ltd. He explicitly stated that training is very costly and time consuming. According to Udeze 2000 who takes it up by saying that factors that influence training methods to adopt includes cost involved, time available for the exercise, the number of people to be trained, the dept knowledge called for, the trainees background, among others. He focuses n popular approaches to training and development.

In many organizations, management is usually interested in the cost benefit analysis of training to justify the budget. So the issue of what benefit is derived form training remains a pertinent question for top management in many big as well as medium organizations in Nigeria.

The problem of communication skills needed by the instructors of trainers. For example, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) which is the icon of manpower training and development in spite of establishing instructor training center in Kano has failed to meet up with human resource development in the area of apprenticeship. This is evidenced from the fact that poor presentation of planning which includes how will the instructions and training be provided?

How complete it will be?

Who will conduct it on the job or in a classroom?.

Factors such as these must be considered and decided. Training resources and media should not be left out. Alternatively, recruiting the trainers that are based on training objective oriented.

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Another attributable factor is the problem of not marketing training programmes. In this regard, National Orientation Agency (NOA) should assist by creating adequate awareness to the populace on the benefit of acquiring learning skills. Avenue should be created in both urban and rural areas to actualize this aim.

The constraints of theory and practice. It has been observed that some of the apprenticeship system in Nigeria pays more attention to practice without theory to balance up the issue. Weiss has this to say (1980) classroom instructions is most useful when philosophy concepts, attitudes, theories and problem solving abilities must be learnt.

This means that a considerable depth of knowledge must be acquired when two are used. Presently, Anambra State Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) Training Centre is in affiliation with Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu for the issuance of Diploma Certificate, National Diploma (ND) to their graduated trainees. This deal was signed under the auspices of Dr Tony Onyisi, the Rector and ANAMMCO Management.

According to Ude Felix C., it aimed at ensuring sixty percent (60%) practice and forty percent (40%) theory. In a nutshell, practical without theoretical in abreast of, will lead to guesswork.

Factors Necessary for the Development of Manpower Needs / Training Needs.

This calls for prominent features of upgrading and standardizing of apprenticeship system needed for the development of workforce. It is a sine qua non that manpower needs in Nigeria is streamlined via apprenticeship training and development.

Weiss (1980) maintains that manpower needs occur when these factors listed below are absent:

  1. New methods or work procedures are started. Therefore, should cope with new methods.
  2. Production goals are not being met. It should be met.
  3. Employees/trainees lack a sense of purpose. There should be a sense of purpose.
  4. Costs of production are increasing without apparent reasons. Reasons should be clearly stated.
  5. Quality of the product or service is declining. It should increase in quality.
  6. Accidents are increasing. It should ever be decreasing.
  7. Pride in the job is missing. It should not be missed at all.
  8. Complaints and grievances are excessive. It should never be excessive.
  9. Workers / trainees are asking too much questions about the job. It should entertain few questions.
  10. High turnover and absenteeism are prevalent. There should be no high turnover and prevalent absenteeism.

He however states that the above list serve supervisors, instructors or trainers as a guide in determining when and where training and development of manpower needs should be carried out. Udeze (2000) holds that these factors or techniques are as follows:

  • Organisational analysis lays emphasis on the organization.
  • Operation Analysis talks about what an employee must do to perform a task, a job or any assignment in an effective way.
  • Lastly, a special consideration should be taken into Man analysis. This is made to ascertain the skills, knowledge or even attitudes an employee must develop if he is to perform the task in the organization. The prominent of Man Analysis or requirement Thomas Gilbert enunciated this formular to meet the manpower needs.

D          =          M         =          1

Where D          =          Deficiency in the employee’s skill.

M         =          Total behaviour needed for the mastery of the job.

I           =          Knowledge of behaviour necessary for the job

which the employee already possess.

Nwachukwu (1988) pointed out, this method requires a through knowledge of the job to be performed and a good understanding of the knowledge which the apprentice or applicant possess. The major benefits of the formular lies, in its ability to assist in simplifying the task of knowing the areas requiring training and development and in assessing the cost of the training programme to the company or any establishment.

Sometimes, it can ever assist in determining the nature of training to be given.

Agbo (2001) sees this factors as being anchored in manpower planning. In fact, planning is necessary for deciding what kind of people we need and when? What kind of organization structure to have? And so an. Weihrich and Koontz 91994) states that planning is the foundation of management. Every planning is geared towards attaining a set objectives.

Agbo, further states that manpower needs are achieved once this planning is effectively and efficiently carried out by means of controlling are inseparable – the Siamese twins of management”.

Manpower planning do help management organization in making decision in the following areas:

  1. Requirements.
  2. Avoidance of redundancies
  3. Training numbers and categories.
  4. Management development
  5. Productivity bargaining
  6. Estimate of labour costs.
  7. Accommodation requirements.

Manpower Analysis, Training and Audit

It is imperative to mention that as one maxim goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. According to Ubeku (1975) after stressing about the needs for manpower requirements to be planned for; also went further to state that manpower analysis which he said fall into two stages must be planned to meet up the requirements needed which are current manpower position and future manpower needs.

In the same vein, he succinctly called these stages as manpower inventory and manpower supplies.

Manpower Inventory: it is merely the stock taking off employees in the different categories and in the different sections. It aimed at examining the current human resources available such as unskilled, skilled, supervisory, technical, managerial, clerical or operative. If it is not properly done, can lead to management actions – overstaffing and underemployment.


The future manpower needs takes effect as soon as possible to meet up the following three basic factors which are indispensable.

  1. Knowledge or information of present manpower resources.
  2. Information on the manpower environment and
  3. Information on business objectives.

Knowing the present manpower resources helps to plan very well for the future. Manpower environment on the other hand should be taken into consideration because of expected changes which ever constant. Technological changes, social changes, economic changes and political changes. Then, business objectives deal with manpower requirement of every organization is to be objective oriented.

Manpower Training:

Harcourt brace 91970) defines it as the process of supplying employers with knowledge and skill they need to do their work effectively. He further states another major responsibility of the personnel department is to plan, organize and control the company’s training. Since near perfection is the ideal of training. It should be continuous whether formal or informal.

Practically, every employee, with the exception of those who are doing only very routine work, can benefit from learning improved methods for performing tasks.

Ubeku (1975) takes it up by saying that the process of training and development is a continuous one. An employee should be helped to grow into more responsibility by systematic training and development. In his own contribution, training needs of any company fall into two categories both of which are inter-dependent. These are:

  1. Company Training Needs: Accessing the company by analyzing the present manpower position, the company’s future plans and the type of manpower requirement agreed upon.
  2. Industrial Training needs: These are certain skills that the individual employees must possess to perform the various tasks and responsibilities involved in the job.

In this light, operative training basic purpose is the transfer of skills from those who possess them to those who do not. This would definitely be of great importance to apprenticeship training and development in Nigeria.

Manpower Audit:

From the above graphical display one can see the relationship between the skilled and unskilled workforce which results to required establishment. It exposes the number of employees on the establishment which will be the basis of getting the number of workers for operation.

Weihrich and Koontz (1994) in their own perspectives talks about enterprise self-audit and management audit. Enterprise self-audit evaluates the organisation’s operations and only indirectly the managerial system. It emphasizes on where a company is and where it is probably going in the face of present and future economic, political and social developments. Infact, it touches the current manpower position and future manpower needs as discussed earlier on. Management audit aims at evaluating the quality of management and quality of managing as a system. Application of the principle of preventive control will be more effective in this regard.

The Contribution of Apprenticeship Development and Manpower Needs in Nigeria.

The invaluable role derived from this cannot be compromised or over-emphasized irrespective of corresponding problem that was earlier mentioned. In brevity, the positive impact of Apprenticeship on the development of manpower needs in Nigeria is something to write home about.

Breach (1980) suggests that the real purpose of training and development is to cause a change in the employee or trainee behaviour on the job and ultimately to improve the effectiveness of the organization. It is in line with this, that a systematic training and development programme is embarked on by organizations, corporate bodies, ministries etc.

Udeze (2000) outlines the contributions in the following areas:

  1. Increased productivity that usually results from the increase in the skill and ability of the employees/trainees/apprentices. Thus, both increase in quality of output can result from a good training programme, lets say apprenticeship.
  2. Training brings confidence and high morale to the employee/trainee.
  3. Costs are reduced. Work accidents plus wastes are characteristics of untrained employee or trainee. So with training, there is usually reduction in waste and hence lower costs in the production process. The maxim “practice makes perfect” comes to mind.
  4. There is increase in organizational stability because training provides a pool of skilled hands that will sustain the work place even when a key employee leaves the organization.
  5. Growth and individual career objectives can be achieved through effective training and people can therefore reach their potentials in their period with their employees.
  6. instilling a willingness to learn gives opportunity of taking advantage of new technology and new techniques. This necessitates a humble approach to apprentices or trainees successes and limitations. It demands a recognition that there is no finishing school or terminal degree of learning. Not basing too much on one’s learning experience which has a stultifying or boring effect.
  7. Industrial Training Fund through its training activities is able to expose human resources development professionals fto changes and trends in theory and practice of management of training and development function or can be called training skills development. Other activities are Vocational and apprenticeship Training, Management Training. The list is endless.
  8. National Directorate of Employment in its pursuit to provide job for all has provided the teaming unemployed youths in Nigeria with gainful employment through its four core programmes viz: Rural Employment Promotion Programme, Small Scale Enterprises Programme, Special Public Works Programme and Vocational Skills Development Programme. In a statistics released in 1997 comes with a report that about one million, five hundred thousand (1.5M) unemployed Nigerians have benefited from these programmes. In a sum, the objectives of self-reliance has been achieved.
  9. Anambra motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) has been able to execute two major responsibiligties through its training center successfully by maintaining adequate and needed number of technical training to its employees. A reliable source from training manager Ude F.U disclosed that most of their technicians passed through ANAMMCO Training Centre.

Secondly, they run training programmes called in-plant or in-house training for their workers to keep them in right shape. They do train for other institutions which requires learning skills. Among whom are: Nigeria airways, NDE, to mention but a few.

  1. A body set up as early as 1962 termed National Manpower Board has contributed immensely in determining and providing the nation’s manpower needs in all occupations. It contributes to the formulation of programmes for manpower development such as coordinating the pokies and activities of the Federal and then regional ministries primarily concerned with manpower problems, development of university polytechnic expansion and training, scholarships, etc. It also handles employment policies including measures to deal with unemployment and the best utilization of the Nation’s manpower resources. To this end, the board makes periodic publication on manpower utilization in the country. In Nigeria, also every institutions run training programmes. They include: NNPC Training, Peugeot Training Centre, First Bank Training Centre, Petroleum Institute, Warri Delta State, all is aimed at achieving manpower needs. It also bridge the gap of lack of practical and theoretical exposure.

According to Professor B. Oni, the World of Work is a blend of knowledge of the equipment and ability or skill to operate it in practice.

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