PwC absorbs 10 Lagos’ entrepreneurship initiative graduates

PwC Nigeria, a leading professional services company, has announced that it would absorb 10 graduating students of Ready Set Work Initiative of the Lagos State Government, as interns for a period of six months with a possibility of employing them at the end of their internship.

Uyi Akpata, Country Senior Partner for PwC Nigeria and Regional Senior Partner for the West Market Area disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of the pioneer class of the initiative consisting of 422 students. PwC is a major sponsor of the initiative.

“PwC is taking 10 of the graduating students as interns to run over a six-month period and I can say here from what I am seeing that those 10 people would have almost a foot in the door to get professional careers in PwC,” he said while calling on the other organisations sponsoring the initiative to follow the example saying that if at the end of the day 10 per cent of the graduating students gain employment within the sponsors, it would go a long way in not only further supporting the initiative but also help to address the unemployment issue in the country.

The Ready Set Work is an entrepreneurship and employability initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education for final year students of the state-owned tertiary institutions consisting of Lagos State University, Lagos State Polytechnic, and Lagos State College of Health Technology.

Akpata commended the initiative saying it aligned with PwC’s objectives as equips students with the critical skills and know-how necessary to either become employable or become employers of labour.

He said PwC did not only invest money in the initiative as sponsors, but also invested time, effort, commitment, dedication over a 14-week timeframe that the training lasted.

“It was a no-brainer and we wanted to align with the initiative that has been established and headed by the Executive Governor of Lagos State and of course driven down the line by members of the Ministry of Education. It sure aligned with the PwC’s objectives and about 16 partners from PwC joined in training the participating students.

“At every step of the way, we were emboldened as we continued to drive and take one step ahead. At one of my sessions in which I participated at the main campus of the Lagos State University, Ojo, after visiting the university for the first time in over 30 years, I could see the good work that was already happening at the university in terms of actual physical structures but then all these softer developmental issues, in terms of quality trainings and impartation are totally invaluable. We are indeed very proud to be part of this,” he said.

He pledged PwC’s continued support for the initiative as long as the Lagos State Government and members of the executive and key stakeholders continue to show strong interest in it.

Earlier on, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, theSpecial Adviser on Education to the Lagos State Government, said the initiative was a sharp response to the submission by notable corporate organisations across the country on the need to fully equip students of tertiary institutions across the state in order to make them employable.

He said about 3,000 students from the state-owned tertiary institutions appliedfor the programme out  of which 500 were shortlisted, adding that of the 500 students that came into the programme only 422 fulfilled the set criteria graduated.

“We set three basic criteria: one was punctuality. Every student had to be seated in class at least 5 minutes before 9am and remain in class till 5pm when we finished the programme. Two, we had 24 classes and every student had to go for at least 21 classes. And finally you have to ensure that you completed all the courses and the entire programme that you were given. I am happy to tell you that 422 students here today achieved that,” Bank-Olemoh said.