'Lagos Jobs Initiative, catalyst to reducing 'brain drain' in health sector'

L-R: Bashir Sadid; Mathew Ogbechie; Olatokumbo Aiyenimelo; Oscar Obiora; and Charles Ekenma, at the Job Initiative Lagos Workshop 

Some student beneficiaries of the Lagos’ Job Initiative programme and their lecturers have expressed optimism that the initiative would help to reduce brain drains in health and other critical sectors.

The Jobs Initiative Lagos (JIL) is aimed at equipping penultimate and final year students of all higher Institutions in the State with necessary employability and entrepreneurship skills that will help them to be gainfully employed or become employers of labours.

This was the view of students and lectures of the Lagos State College of Nursing (LASCON), Igando in Alimosho LG area of the State after undergoing several days of entrepreneurship and employability skills training, both physical and online sponsored by the Lagos State Government under its Jobs Initiative Lagos (JIL), as a catalyst to reducing brain drain that had affected the country’s health and other critical sectors over the years.

They noted that the extension of entrepreneurial training to medical schools and College of health technologies has helped to further expose the students to other opportunities in the country’s health sector that could be explored to be gainfully employed and become employers of labour across the country.

The students made the observations at the end of the training held within the College premises in Igando, which was organized by the State government through the Office of Special Adviser on Education to the Governor.

The training programme, according to the Project Assistant Coordinator, Loftylnc Allied Partners, Olatokunbo Aiyenimalo was particularly designed for student nurses and midwife in final year and penultimate year, towards preparing them for opportunities including immediate entry into the workforce as employees and employers of labour

In an interview with pressmen after the training yesterday, President, Lagos State College of Nursing Student Association, Timothy Bada, commended the government’s idea to extend the employability program to medical students, saying the move has helped him to see beyond what he was being taught daily in class.

Bada explained that after undergoing the training, he had become more exposed to other opportunities that were available within the health sector of the country that he could explore and earn more income for himself.

He said: “This is an aspect that Nigeria needs to effect required change in the health sector. I will say that I appreciate the Lagos State Government for the gesture. This programme has actually enlightened me on what to do after leaving school.

“This is an addition to our profession because most of our senior colleagues often focus on caring for patients alone, I am not saying that is wrong because it is our primary responsibility, but when we put in some other extra activities that the community can recognize, it will bring more money that can help to cater for our needs”, the president added.

Another student, Alimah Biliamin, disclosed that through the training, she had learnt a key factor that could assist her to become employable immediately after leaving school and possibly areas that she could venture into within the country’s health sector earn money for her rather than looking abroad.

Biliamin, who appealed that the training should be mandated for all students, disclosed that many students do not understand the opportunities embedded in the training and that compelling them will give a better understanding.

“I have done some of the courses outside and I know how much I had to pay to get it. But with the government giving it out for free, one must commend them. I must appreciate the government for giving me this opportunity. And I appeal that all students should be made to undergo the training”, the student nurse said.

She added that the training had also given her an opportunity to understand how best to manage time within hospital wards and also engage in other areas that could make her become relevant.

The Student Adviser for the institution, Matthew Friday, commended the state government for the initiative, just as he stressed that it had exposed students’ to other soft skills required to become employable immediately after leaving school.

Friday added that training would further reduce the rate at which Nigerians health practitioners consider leaving the country particularly the young crops of health providers that were just inducted into the sector.

The Assistant Project Coordinator, LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the state government on the training programme, Olatokunbo Aiyenimelo, while addressing the students, disclosed that the aim was to prepare them for the life after school particularly how to become employable immediately.

Aiyenimelo, while noting that the students were trained on how best they could write their Curriculum Vitae (CV), and become employers’ preferred choice, added that the students were put through work etiquettes including soft skills, that would give them required edge wherever they go after school.

She said: “To ensure that they become employers and good employees that can work effectively in the 21st century, we also trained them on how they could coordinate their data using different digital tools that could ease their stress at work”.

The Jobs Initiative Lagos 2021, which commenced last week targeted at training 8000 penultimate and final year students of various Institutions in the State in the present stream.