The Effect of Industrial Work Experience on Student in Tertiary Institution

The Effect of Industrial Work Experience on Student in Tertiary Institution in Federal Polytechnic Oko in Anambra State

In order to carry out this research work effectively, investigations were made into related works done on this topic.  Although not much has been written on the topic.However, there are related works done by some indigenous and foreign authors that fairly related to this problem.

The information gathered are grouped into following headings:-

  1. Students industrial work experience scheme as a means of practical job training.
  2. providing manpower through SIWES.
  3. SIWES and students experiences of practical knowledge in the use and maintenance of machines and equipment.


          According to Okoye et al (1992), the world is fast advancing in science, technology and industrialization.

Nigeria cannot be left out in this jet age endeavor.  They stressed that acquisition of skills and experiences no doubt is the key to industrialization.  Since we cannot given what we do not possess, students industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) is one of the programme designed by the federal government as an aid to the acceleration of our pace of industrialization and technological growth.

Aghenwono (1992) revealed that the scheme known as SIWES offers the opportunity for the students to utilize some of their academic knowledge and skills in a real life industrial job environment which should be related and appropriate to his academic discipline.  The SIWES programme helps the students to have a  practical knowledge of what they have been taught in the school.  This is so because the tertiary institutions today teach more of theory than practical.

Haris also made it known in his research that the method of on-the-job training was first used in engineering where a cooperative relationship between the industries in the state and the university was involved in giving students practical on the job training.  Under this plan or scheme, students were to spend alternative periods at study and in the college of engineering and at work in the jobs.  The objectives was to have students learn through apprenticeship using the industries as extension of laboratories of the school.  The scheme was heaving oriented towards vocational adoption.  It was envisaged by Haris that the inter-wearing of theory and practice would no doubt bring about a better innovation and better skillful training of technical men.

Evans states that it would be highly unusual if any employee whatever his educational experience, his skill of training may be to walk into the plant gate or the office door and be ready to work without some additional industrial training.

Some graduates showed dislike over long periods of orientation and training and express the belief that such industry over did the orientation and training and this post-pone the opportunity for valuable practical work.

Experience gained in industry in their course of  learning is enormous.  There is no doubt some truth in this thinking because the graduates of today are far better educated than were their counterparts of thirty –five years ago.  Thus, the problems usually associated with the orientation and training programme as seen some years ago are not being encountered any more.

Ronald, P.O. et al said that practical on – the – job training should be given to students to have them experienced through experiments and practical, the basic techniques required in each industrial sector, increase their interest in technology and get concerned about it and comprehend the various basic problems involved in industrial technology.

Bright said that both technical knowledge and practical knowledge are developed in and through practice.  Technical knowledge is a form of know-how while practical knowledge is knowledge of how to act.  Because we are at times in a position we cannot help but act in the situations we find ourselves in and this we cannot help but use our practical knowledge to cope with the circumstance of those situations.  The use of technical knowledge on the other hand is not situationally dependent, we can know how to make something when required to do as but if not we can forget, but since we are always in situations we cannot forget how to act within them.  The ”practical” is not merely routinized in its own appropriate modes of reasoning and understanding.

Carr (1990) also points out that practical consists of international activity implicated in conceptual frameworks through which practitioners make sense of what they are doing.  The frame works enable one’s own and others practiced to be both characterized and assessed.

Mee et al (1978) provided examples of information practitioner theory when they referred to concepts held by practicing adult educations.  These could be seen as part of a frame work of principle’s assumptions, values and beliefs which structure the general approach to practice and influence the kind of action taken in particular practice situations.  An adult education with a “learning” SIWES, through the practical training given to students in their industrial training is able to produce graduates who are job creators and not job seekers.

Okoye et al in their adoption of technology stated that considering the existence of the federal polytechnic Oko and in participating in the scheme, one of the common objective is to prepare the participatory students of accelerating technological changes and make them to become alert to the changing needs heightening and broadening dening aspirations of mankind.

The federal polytechnic Oko recommends and accepts both in theory and practice the establishment of the SIWES by the federal military government for the achievement of some worthwhile framework and might organize very different programmes from one with a “community” framework and would tackle problems solving and decision making in a very different way.

Twining points out that industry tends to complain that current education and training provision fails to meet the challenge of change in terms of spend of response and of specialist requirement.  In addition, many companies find it difficult to obtain training courses for the specialist skills which are becoming necessary with the growth of new technology.  This problem, the researcher believed can only be overcome through the practical training given to students in the industrial training and their overall experience as regards the organization served in.

Twining goes on to say that the keng to success will be a partnership between industry and education with industry having specific roles both in relation to the system as a whole arm to the needs of individual students.  Objectives through the cooperation machinery of the SIWES and as contained in the SIWES programmes.

Industrial training fund (         ITF) guide stipulates that the scheme provides an avenue for institutions of Higher Learning to acquire industrial skills and experience in their course study, especially for engineering, secretarial and other allied fields.

The industrial training fund (ITF) in its policy number, one published in 1973 inserted a clause dealing with the issue of practical skills among locally trained professionals.  Section is of the policy statement states interalio “Great emphasis will be placed on assisting certain products of post secondary school system to adopt or orient easily to their possible post graduation job environment.  The scheme also seem to work out a cooperative machinery with industry whereby students in institutions of higher learning may receive training in industry and commerce compatible with there area of study.

Moreover, it has been observed that if the students were allowed to pass out with theoretical knowledge without having much practical knowledge, they were bound to perform very poorly in their offices after graduation.  It is believed that the quality of goods we produce and the services we render a reflection of the quality of our human resources.  The evil of scarcity and low quality of local goods and services would continue to remain with the nation until we are able to improve on the capacity of the practice work force to enable them practice more effectively.  For instance, the role of researcher and development in the solution of societal problems is well known.  In  the area of science and technology, there can be no progress without research and development of which the polytechnic education in general and industrial attachment.


Industrial training through its numerous inbuilt features of relevance has possible solutions to many of the problems of unemployment that may face both the ordinary and Higher National Diploma graduate.  The need for one year industrial training is a sinequa-non since the present level of technology and the types of industries in Nigeria vis-à-vis those in the more advanced counties and less sophisticated and less functional.

Fortunately and happily enough the number of Nigerian students in these disciplines in our institutions especially federal polytechnic Oko have increased tremendously over the past few years.  It is in pursuance of the desire to supply the much needed trainined and skilled manpower in the fields concerned that the industrial training fund (ITF) has succeeded in working out a cooperative machinery with industries whereby students in post secondary institutions in Nigeria may receive training.

It was observed by Okoye et al (1992) that proper industrial training forum will help to achieve self –employmet goals as well as technological developing the country.  The industrial training is a continuation of SIWES abundant raw materials.

It is evident that most of the raw materials (stell, oil, agricultural cultural products, coals etc) are available in the country today and need well skilled manpower to utilize and manage them correctly.  It is also believed that the cost of locally produced industrial products will be with the reach of the average Nigerian and this phenomenon can be realized through proper one year industrial training.  Not many Nigerians know that cholocate is made from cocoa and soap from palm oil respectively.

Evans asserted that “A free society cannot service and prosper without firm foundation of a broadly-educated group of men and women.  But the process of education by definition can never be finished.  Therefore the process of continued learning must be cultivated both within and academic world if we are to make the most of the talents with which we have been endowed for the benefit of society”.

If the service of industry to society is to grow, as it must, four lines from the poet.  Edwin Markham:

We are blind we see that in human plan, nothing is worth the building unless it builds the man.

Why build these cities glorious, if man unbuilded goes?

In vain we build  the world unless the builders also grows”.

Closer cooperation between school and industry, through industrial tainee-ships during the school year for instance would be a step in this direction.

According to Halsey, the greatest impact of educational revolution is therefore on international power and polities.

He remarked that educational development becomes a priority of national policy.  We live in time when knowledge is exploding.  More knowledge, new techniques and new abilities have to be given to more people because of this fact.  As an economy develops the need for skilled workers, experts and generally educated people increases.  The development of the physical equipment of society may largely be wasted unless there is the trained talent to work it.  The place for the unskilled worker in modern economics is diminishing rapidly.  As the economy develops, it needs more and more diverse, skills that rely upon a general background of education for their development.  A growing economy also requires adaptable workers who can quickly and with ease leave one specialty and take up another.  Dedication has as one of its main tasks the creation of an efficient working force.

Andrew et al, remarked that automation is universally beneficial to capital and labour.

Technical innovations were portrayed as reading inevitably to improvements in efficiency, productiveness and working conditions.

Myint states that “the educational effect of apprentiship and promotion to skilled grades in ordinary economic life is more for reaching than huge sums of money spent on educational institutions”.

In structurally adjusting economy, as the case stands now in this country, what should be the emphasis in the area of research and development is to restructure and diversity the productive base of raw materials in usable form and insufficient quantity.

The federal government and the National Board for technical education (NBTE) after analyzing the impact of SIWES, on how it helps to generate the desired manpower made the scheme a compulsory per-requisite for all prospective Higher National Diploma (HND) students before admission far the programme.

Chukwujekwu (1991) emphasized that the government should use the scheme to device how to minimized the effects of our cultural attitudes on regulated employment and production and at the same time avoid the complete destruction of our culture by organized labour.

As the picture in industry and commerce has not changed despite the nations economic trend the nation cannot claim any reasonable industralization without a constant and adequate training of manpower.  The current resolution in the world of science and technology demands a conscious and dynamic training of our human resources to be able to move along the part of the industrialization nations of the world.  The SIWES programme has the enormous taks of moving the nation from the position of the consumer nation to that of producer nation.  To achieve this aim of matching theory with practical, sufficient trained manpower which would be able to add value to our vast and untapped materials is inevitable.  For instance, the steel industry would have achieved its intensive and massive growth of continuous and initial training have been given by its human resources.  Most students through the SIWES were placed in a very comfortable places because they were producing what is required of them and the industries and commerce on the other hand acquire a high skilled manpower they needed at a cheaper rate because the practiciapting students were not paid huge sums of money as were demanded by the permanent staff.  Students industrial work experiences scheme (SIWES) in human resources development can also be said to embrace all the diverse process which aim at transforming people to enable them contribute more effectively to social and economic development.  A nation’s human resources can thus be improved through purposeful and result-oriented education and training.  SIWES programme which basically prepares people for the world of work has become an innovative phenomenon in the process of manpower development and training in Nigeria. The scheme also enlist and strengthen employer’s involvement in the entire education process of preparing students for employment industry.

The SIWES programme aims at the promotion and encouragement of skills in industry with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the country’s economy.


          According to Isiwu (1992) one of the SIWES officers in job said “SIWES helps to expose students on how to handle various office equipment and machinery for instance, the students in federal polytechnic Oko with particular reference to department of secretarial studies with then know how to handle the typewriters, filing of documents and also how to process data on the computer.  This is done or learnt during the SIWES training to provide most of the institutions that were unable to provide some of these equipment because of their costs and machines like the computer cannot be afforded by the institutions.

The programme is also made to match theories with practical.  The objectives of the SIWES programme is to produce graduates who are job creators and not job seekers.  At this juncture, a close look at the activities of polytechnics and petroleum training institutions for training personnel to acquire special skills in petroleum and some (ITF) technical workshop is necessary.

According to the ITF guide series, SIWES provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real work situation thereby bridging the gap between college work and actual practices and techniques in handling equipments and machinery that may not be available in educational institutions.

The concepts of training as a continuous process at all stages of a work’s active life and occupational level for improved performance is a key factor in enhancing free mobility of the labour force.

Uwazie also mentioned that the programme  is the preparation of the participating students for better future use of their hands and brains.  He further states that the scheme provides opportunity for the participating students to gain supervised experiences of working in industries as a supplement to their studies. By this the students undergoing the training while operating the machines will be supervised by the supervisor or employee who helps to direct the students on how to carry out any given task.

In the same vein, Dikko, stressed that he should enjoy the support and cooperation of departmental lecturers who should supervised the students during the training and occupational environment as the case may be .


          The effect of students industrial work experience scheme cannot be over emphasized.  This is because in office operation, it ensures efficiency and set a high standard in our economy by increasing the quality and quantity of our products.

SIWES also makes students to get prepared for the work situation they are to meet after graduation and also make chance for transition from school to world to work.  It also enhance students contacts for later job placement.

Okoye et al points out that this device should therefore be given a maximum attention it deserves.  No sacrifice will be deemed too great in order to achieve the much desired national actualization and glory within a record time.

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