Industrial Management Trainee Program Cost: Imperative for Strategic Relationship between Industries and Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria

By Stella, Ahunanya; Enyinna, Okpara et al. | Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences, June 2012 | Go to article overview

Industrial Management Trainee Program Cost: Imperative for Strategic Relationship between Industries and Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria


Stella, Ahunanya, Enyinna, Okpara, Uche, Chineze M., Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences


Abstract

The deficiency in the human capital development program of Nigerian higher education institutions (HEIs) has resulted in competency gap between skills and abilities acquired by the graduates and industrial needs. This has made Nigerian industries to restructure their Management Trainee Program (MTP) with increased financial expenditure in retraining the new graduates to close the gap. Using a case study research design with purposive sampling of an industry and a higher education institution, an analysis of the financial expenditure of the MTP was made and compared to the social and private cost of education of a Nigerian engineering student in Lagos State resulting in a significance difference in the cost of retraining graduates and training of engineering students. Among the recommendations is that industries could invest such monies through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) functions with the HEIs so that the competency gap could be narrowed to a minimal extent.

Keywords: human capital, management trainee program, competency gap, training and retraining and corporate social responsibility.

INTRODUCTION

Human beings are the greatest assets of any nation in that they contribute to economic growth, technological progress and political stability hence nations invest in education in order to maximally harness the potentials of the citizens. According to the Human Capital Theory, there must be investment in the development of human resources to meet the manpower needs of every nation and it is the ability of this human resource to harness all other resources effectively and efficiently that leads to development (Ahunanya and Akinyemi, 2010). Rawat and Chauhan (2007) noted that higher education plays a key role in the development of the various sectors of the economy, by providing skilled manpower Dabalen, Oni and Adekola(2001) stated that current theories of long run growth identify two ways by which higher education is crucial for economic growth as highly skilled driving technological innovation through research and that a country with highly skilled labor force has better chances of growing than one with a lesser skilled workforce Green defined quality of higher education as "producing graduates to meet the human resources needs of an organization in the business, industrial and service sectors" in Dubey, Goyal,Pathak and Rajput (2009). Cheng and Sapai (2007) noted that in a knowledge economy, competent workers are an expectation that is, being a graduate does not guarantee employment but at the same time without a paper degree one will not even be considered viable in a globalized knowledge economy. A global market means global competition and hence today graduates are required to possess value added knowledge and be a 'skilled worker

Higher institutions of learning therefore have to ensure that they possess a robust quality assurance system that enables them to deliver programmes that are relevant to the manpower needs of the country and industries

The extent of how far higher education graduate functionally fits into the productive system of Nigeria is directly dependent on the level of competence he has acquired in his field of study in higher education. This is particularly because most employers of labour in Nigeria adopt the competency based approach in graduate employment selection which entails ability to exhibit experience and quality of skills such as initiative, professionalism, communication skills, adaptability, team work, leadership and problem solving ability, (Metaru, 2007). However, researches findings reveal that the level of professional competence of the Nigerian graduate is low, particularly the Engineering graduate (Oladapo and Ike 2010).

This deficiency in the human capital development program of Nigerian higher education institutions (HEIs) which has resulted in a competency gap between skills and abilities acquired by the graduates and industrial needs has made Nigerian industries to restructure their Management Trainee Program (MTP). …

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