Buoyed by the need to support and develop young engineering talent, Nestlé Nigeria PLC established a Technical Training Centre in its Agbara Factory. Launched in September 2011, 26 students have now completed the programme.
Under an agreement between Nestlé, the Nigerian authorities and the Swiss government, the top five graduating students of each batch undergo an additional three-month internship in Switzerland.
This year’s top five graduating students had the opportunity to follow a three-month internship at Nestlé Product Technology Centre (PTC) in Orbe and at the Nespresso factory in Switzerland. This was sponsored by the Swiss Government. This exciting opportunity allowed students to be exposed to different areas such as production, quality, engineering and technology. It further enhanced their skills and broadened their technical expertise.
“We are committed to helping young people contribute to the technological development of Nigeria,” said Dharnesh Gordhon, Nestlé Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our aim is to nurture local ability in science and engineering while widening our potential employee talent pool.”
Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel commended Nestlé for its openness and enthusiasm. “I am convinced that the Nestlé Technical Training Centre in Agbara and the cooperation between Nestlé and the Swiss Government are making a small but significant contribution to the strengthening of the Nigerian labor market and economy by providing highly qualified and much-needed Polyvalent Technical Operators.”
The Nestlé Technical Training Programme serves to impact the students with practical engineering knowledge and skills. Students undergo an intensive 18-month theoretical and practical engineering syllabus based on the London City & Guilds curriculum for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. The programme is open to young Ordinary National Diploma certificate holders, with specialty in electrical, electronic, mechanical and automation engineering.
All students from the first wave found permanent employment and eight of those were employed by Nestlé Nigeria Plc. A second wave, finishing in July 2015, will see a further 13 students joining the company. A third wave will start in September 2015 with 20 participants – the largest group since the programme was launched.
Given the success of this program and the launch of the Global Youth Initiative, Nestlé Central and West Africa Region is planning to establish a similar Technical Training Centre at the Yopougon factory in Côte d’Ivoire. Starting in 2016, this will first provide technical training facilities for Nestlé employees in its two factories in Côte d’Ivoire (Yopougon and Zone 4). In the long term, there are plans to extend the facilities to external students as per the example in Nigeria.
This initiative is part of Nestlé’s commitment to help develop young people’s skills across the world develop skills and make them more employable. It aims to develop young talent for the company and help tackle the global youth unemployment crisis.