Nestlé is introducing career development initiatives in Central and West Africa to boost employment opportunities for young people.
The initiatives are being rolled out against the backdrop of finding people with the requisite skills that meet the company’s requirement, while ensuring the sustainability of training to unlock the potential of the youth in the region.
Scholarship and skills for engineering talent
Nestlé established a Technical Training Centre at its Agbara factory in Nigeria in 2011 to offer young people multi-skilled apprenticeship and traineeship positions, which are fully paid for by the company.
It runs an 18-month course in electronic, mechanical and instrumentation engineering to strengthen the professional development of the students.
The programme is open to National Diploma certificate holders with a specialty in electrical, electronic, mechanical or automation engineering.
It consists of eight modules including theory and practical work based on the syllabus of City and Guilds of London Institute, one of the world’s leading vocational education organisations.
In the first course, all 13 graduating students gained employment, eight of them with Nestlé.
The second batch of 16 students who started in August 2013 are still studying.
The course builds on the activities of the Swiss-Nigerian Migration Partnership – a pact to increase vocational training signed by the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria and Nestlé.
Under this agreement, Switzerland provides a scholarship for the top five students in each graduating class at the Nestlé Technical Training Centre every year.
They are sent to Switzerland for an additional four-month industrial placement.
‘Solid foundation for the future’
Chima Uche, a Nestlé apprentice graduate, was sent to Nestlé’s Konolfingen factory in Switzerland for further training after completing the course.
Chima is now working at the pressing and wrapping department at the Nestlé Agbara factory in Nigeria since August 2013.
“I benefited from the programme theoretically and practically and was thoroughly impressed with the state-of-the-art equipment I was exposed to,” said Chima.
He added: “After completing Nestlé’s apprenticeship, I believe we are equipped to take on the world because a solid foundation has now been laid for our future”.
Chima previously studied mechanical engineering at the Yaba College of Technology in Nigeria.
He said he decided to work for Nestlé because of the company’s “high regards for standards and its sound work environment”.
Gender balance is key
Nestlé is boosting youth employment at the Nestlé Business Service in Accra, which was established in 2011.
More than half of the 150 employees of NBS Africa are young female graduates with an average age of 28.
They have a wide scope of professional experience in the areas of human resources, sales, marketing, finance, and engineering.
NBS offers new graduates the opportunity to join a recognised and trusted company to help build their careers.
Youth support at schools and colleges
In the Savanna Cluster, Nestlé is working with the Burkinabe Institute of Arts and Crafts (IBAM) at the University of Ouagadougou.
The partnership, which has been running for more than four years, is focused on coaching and creating employment opportunities for the university students.
Launch of e-Recruitment
Earlier this year, Nestlé launched its ‘e-Recruitment’ tool in the Central and West Africa Region. The new platform makes it easier for prospective candidates to apply for job opportunities in the region and worldwide.
The e-Recruitment initiative complements the graduate trainee programme, allowing the company to train and develop new graduates with an emphasis on diversity, innovation and growth.