The Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the payment of N30,000 as monthly stipend to Ready.Set.Work, RSW, volunteers who have been placed on intenship in various organisations for six months.
He also gave nod to the setting apart of N8 million in seed funding for the top five winners of the RSW Business Pitch Competition, whose businesses will be placed in incubation.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, in a statement issued on Sunday, said the beneficiaries will commence their internship and incubation, respectively, on March 1.
He explained that the interns were part of the 2,000 final year students from six tertiary institutions in the state who took part in the 2017 edition of the 13-week intensive entrepreneurship and employability training programme.
Bank-Olemoh disclosed that the Ready.Set.Work programme, which held its pilot in 2016, with 500 final year students from three tertiary institutions in the state, was scaled up in 2017 to 12,000 students from six institutions, including Lagos State University, University of Lagos, Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos State College of Health Technology, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education.
His words, “In 2016, we placed 76 students in internship with partner organisations like PwC, SystemSpecs, Total, GTBank, FCMB and Access Bank, which provided six-month paid internship opportunities for RSW graduates. The governor further expanded the scheme by approving funds to place an additional 100 RSW graduates in internship positions with SMEs across Lagos State, with monthly stipends provided by the government.
“In 2017, we were able to scale up and secure internship slots in about 180 organisations across the state for 1,000 top performing RSW graduates. The placement process involved a series of internship fairs at which companies had the opportunity to interview and select their interns from a pool of qualified candidates.”
The statement said preparation for Ready.Set.Work 2018 has commenced, adding that the programme would be expanded to train 25,000 while 5,000 final year students would participate in the 13-week face-to-face classes while 20,000 students in their penultimate year would take part in the RSW Online Academy.
Bank-Olemoh assured that the programme will also increase the number of participating schools to accommodate more students in the programme, revealing the new schools as: Yaba College of Technology, Federal College of Education (Technical) and Caleb University.
He added that the inclusion of new schools was in line with Ambode’s commitment to ensuring that every student who graduates from any tertiary institution in Lagos State is prepared for the world of work as an employer of labour or a value-adding employee.
While calling on professionals from different sectors to join the RSW Faculty, the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria, as facilitators for the 2018 training programme, the governor’s aide said the faculty recruitment would kick off officially on Thursday; while the application portal will be accessible on the programme website www.readysetwork.com.ng.