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ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILL THROUGH APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SELECTED APPRENTICES AT THE MECHANIC VILLAGE, ABAKALIKI

ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILL THROUGH APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SELECTED APPRENTICES AT THE MECHANIC VILLAGE, ABAKALIKI

ABSTRACT

 

This work assessed the enhancement of entrepreneurial skill through Apprenticeship education in Ebonyi State (A Study of Mechanic Village, Abakaliki). The major objectives were to encourage the use of apprenticeship education as a means of enhancing entrepreneurial skills and to determine the effect of apprenticeship education on entrepreneurs. This descriptive survey used a cross-sectional data collected from a sample of 330 auto-mechanics and their apprentices via questionnaire. Simple percentage was used to analyse the data.

We found that apprenticeship education has a strong positive way of enhancing entrepreneurial skills and has a strong positve effect on the establishment of new businesses (mechanic workshops). The study recommended that the government of Ebonyi State should  encourage apprenticeship education as a tool for entrepreneurship development by providing apprenticeship educational programes to help apprentices ehance their entrepreneurial skills and also provide basic infrastructural facilities such as electricity, networks of roads, etc, and providing soft loans to enable the trainers to build better workshops and procure equipments.

The government may also give financial assistance in form of monthly allowances to the apprentices and encourage more unemployed youths to participate in apprenticeship in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the country and to also help improve the country’s economy.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

Apprenticeship education is a means of learning for work which has been used successfully since the middle Ages. The term has entered the language to describe the process of learning new and valuable skills from a seasoned professional. Today Nigeria has over 250,000 apprentices, and they are learning everything skill necessary to improve their entrepreneurial skills to make them outshine their future competitors.

As well as developing the high-level skills that Nigeria will need in growing amounts, apprenticeship can be a route to university or other forms of education. It is certain to retain a valuable role in the era of lifelong learning.

Many countries in the world are seeking to expand or at least sustain some form of apprenticeship as part of their education and training systems in other to enhance entrepreneurial skills. This affirms the belief held by many policy makers, employers and individuals that this form of vocational preparation has continued value. In the United Kingdom, apprenticeship has been an instrument of the state’s vocational education and training policy since 1993, when a Conservative government decided to revitalise apprenticeships. Since then, successive governments have promoted apprenticeship as a key pathway for young people and as a vehicle for improving adult skills, and apprenticeship have enjoyed all-party support.

Since medieval times, the term “apprenticeship” has been used to describe the journey a person takes from novice to expert in a specific occupational field. The concept transcends occupational boundaries and hierarchies, and is used by surgeons as well as carpenters, chefs, actors and musicians etc.

Apprenticeship is also the name for a set of formalised, state-regulated arrangements for vocational education and training. In many European countries, these arrangements are organised through social partnerships between the State, employers, trades unions, and education and training providers. Nigeria has had a much more ambivalent attitude to apprenticeship than its continental neighbours, but now there appears to be a stronger commitment to creating the conditions in which apprenticeships, and vocational education and training more generally, might flourish.

This commentary is a contribution to the public debate on apprenticeships and on the government’s plans for the continued improvement of apprenticeship provision. It calls for apprenticeship as a model of learning to be placed at the heart of debates about vocational education and training for young people and adults.

This requires a step change if policy decisions are to focus on the quality of the learning experience rather than viewing apprenticeship as yet another ‘scheme’ intended to meet government targets for increased numbers in post-compulsory education or training, or for the number of qualifications issued. In recent years, apprenticeship’s core identity as a model of learning has been replaced by that of a policy instrument. In that sense, apprenticeship is currently government-owned and directed. This change has to be reversed.

Many countries in the world are seeking to expand or at least sustain son form of apprenticeship as part of their education and training systems. This affirms the belief held by many policymakers, employers and individuals that this form of vocational preparation has continued value. In the United Kingdom, apprenticeship has been an instrument of the state’s vocational education and training policy since 1993, when a Conservative government decided to revitalise apprenticeships. Since then, successive governments have promoted apprenticeship as a key pathway for young people and as a vehicle for improving adult skills, and apprenticeship has enjoyed all-party support.

Since medieval times, the term “apprenticeship” has been used to describe the journey a person takes from novice to expert in a specific occupational field. The concept transcends occupational boundaries and hierarchies, and is used by surgeons as well as carpenters, chefs, actors and musicians. Apprenticeship is also the name for a set of formalised, state-regulated arrangements for vocational education and training.

In many European countries, these arrangements are organised through social partnerships between the State, employers, trades unions, and education and training providers. The UK has had a much more ambivalent attitude to apprenticeship than its continental neighbours, but now there appears to be a stronger commitment to creating the conditions in which apprenticeships, and vocational education and training more generally, might flourish.

This commentary is a contribution to the public debate on apprenticeships and on the government’s plans for the continued improvement of apprenticeship provision. It calls for apprenticeship as a model of learning to be placed at the heart of debates about vocational education and training for young people and adults.

This requires a step change if policy decisions are to focus on the quality of the learning experience rather than viewing apprenticeship as yet another ‘scheme’ intended to meet government targets for increased numbers in post-compulsory education or training, or for the number of qualifications issued. In recent years, apprenticeship’s core identity as a model of learning has been replaced by that of a policy instrument. In that sense, apprenticeship is currently government-owned and directed. This change has to be reversed.

1.2   Statement of Problem

It has been observed that apprenticeship education has been less encouraged in the country by the government and majority of entrepreneurs in the enhancement of their entrepreneurial skills.

Apprenticeship education appears to have contributed more to entrepreneurial development over the years. But many entrepreneurs have decided to ignore it because of lack of patients as a result of the length of time of the training process and other irrelevant factors, due to the “get rich quick syndrome” that is seriously eating up many youth in the country and the world at large.

Due to this ignorance, there has been a very high rate of failure amongst many entrepreneurs in the country that did not enhance their entrepreneurial skill through apprenticeship education.

This work is to encourage entrepreneurs and the govermnent to plan for the improvement of apprenticeship education in the country in other to enhance entrepreneurial skills in the country. It calls for apprenticeship as a model of learning to be placed at the heart of entrepreneurs about vocational education and training for young people and adults in other to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

1.3   Objectives of the study

The general objective of this study is to assess the enhancement of entrepreneurial skills through apprenticeship education in ebonyi state. Specifically, this study sought to achieve the following objectives:

  • To encourage the use of apprenticeship education as a means of enhancing entrepreneurial skills.
  • To determine the effect of apprenticeship education on entrepreneurs.

1.4   Research question

  • How can apprenticeship education be encouraged as a means of enhancing entrepreneurial skills.
  • Does apprenticeship education affect entrepreneurs?

ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILL THROUGH APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SELECTED APPRENTICES AT THE MECHANIC VILLAGE, ABAKALIKI

1.5   Significance of the study

This study will help the Government, entrepreneurs and apprentices appreciate the use of apprenticeship education in enhancing entrepreneurial skills.

Furthermore, this study will give the researcher a better understanding of apprenticeship education as a means of enhancing entrepreneurial skills.

Finally, this study will serve as a useful reference material for future researchers on this related issue.

1.6   Scope of the study

This study focused on a selected apprentice at the mechanic village Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

1.7   Limitations of the study

As its normal with every research work, there are bound to be constraints in the process of the research work.

The data used in this research were collected via questionnaire. The validity of our result(s) will, therefore, be influenced by the honesty, otherwise, of the responses we received.

Furthermore, the time available for this research was limited as the researcher combined it with lectures, examinations, and other academic activities. As a result, we were able to study only two objectives for this study.

Lastly, this study was further limited by the shortage of funds as we could not afford the cost of the logistics needed to study the entire apprentices in the mechanic village.

Consequently, we studied a selected number of the entire population.

ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILL THROUGH APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SELECTED APPRENTICES AT THE MECHANIC VILLAGE, ABAKALIKI

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