In the Fall of 2011 we are launching a small Apprentice program to train trades skills to young men. This program will build upon our already successful skills training program for young women.
Niger suffers from a serious lack of a skilled labour force. This only compounds the problem of dire poverty that strikes many young families and these men have no way to care for their families that can pay them a living wage. If there are no workers who are able to carry out building projects, infrastructure work and run small businesses, then people from other countries will enter to fill this void in the work force. However, this money then leaves the local economy as much of it is sent back to their own countries via remittances. There is significant evidence of this being the case in Niger where almost all the labourers, from welding shops, to carpenters, to masons to painters, are men who have come from other countries.
We have witnessed a desire in many young men to learn trade skills, but there is a lack of training that is available in Niger. There are no technical schools and apprentice opportunities are rare and costly. These young men would learn, and then train others, and slowly a skilled labor force would emerge and help to carry Niger into the next generation. All that is needed is the opportunity, the location and the trainers. We have trained tradesmen on staff (engineers, construction and welders) who want to open this new chapter in the Niger Vocational Training Centre, to work alongside and teach these young men.
We are looking for partners to help us carry this vision and work forward. You can contact us at Admin@nvoc.ca if you are interested in more information.