The Dangote Academy on Monday inaugurated its Junior Technician Scheme (JTS), at the Obajana cement plant, in Kogi State.

According to the Dangote Group, with the induction of 100 (batch 3 and 4) new students at the Obajana, the Dangote Academy has so far trained over 700 engineers and technicians between 2011 and 2018. It added that most of those trained have been employed.

Available information showed that of the 100 inductees at the JTS programme, 50 were drawn from Obajana and Ibese, in Ogun State, while the rest were drawn from the other states of the federation.

Speaking at the occasion, royal fathers from both Obajana and Ibese, commended the Dangote Group’s contributions to their various communities.

Giving a background to the JTS programme, the Group Executive Director (Projects), Mr. Davikumar Edwin said, “The Dangote Academy was established in 2010 to serve as the talent pipeline for the Dangote Group while filling the industrial skills gap in Nigeria”.

He added that the academy has become necessary in view of the fact that the Group and indeed most industries in Nigeria cannot rely solely on universities and colleges of technology to provide the specialized technical and managerial training required for running major (modern) industrial factories.

He explained that the newly admitted Junior Technicians will undergo 18 months training programme under experienced engineers from around the world and in cement plants, having modern equipment and using advanced technology.

“It is therefore expected that at the end of the 18-month training programme, these 100 young Nigerians being admitted today will become master technicians in any one or more of the following areas, namely: Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Welding and Fabrication, Machining and Fitting, Mechanical Maintenance, Automobile Maintenance, and Instrumentation.

“All of these are critical skills area for the development of any community or nation”, he added.

He said that the group through the Dangote Academy trained about 10, 000 employees in 2017 through delivered and supported training programmes.

He added: “In the execution of its academic programmes, the Dangote Academy is partnering with the German Association of Equipment Manufacturers (VDMA), National Office for Technology Acquisition & Promotion (NOTAP), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), among others”.

The Head of the Academy, Mr. Hassan Salisu said, “During the period 2011 to 2017, more than 600 trainees were admitted into different technical training lasting between 12 to 18 months at the Dangote Academy and most of them were employed by the group at the end of their training”.