ASSESSMENT OF THE OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF INDUSTRIAL TRAINING FUND
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The development of indigenous manpower to serve as the propelling force for national growth and development is no doubt a key to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development (Ake 2000). This is quite indispensable considering the argument of the concept of transfer of technology as a propelling force for the development of the developing countries of which Nigeria is one (Ake 2000). However, it is important to state that the lack of adequate emphasis on manpower development as a tool for development in Nigeria as well as the organized private sector could not be far-fetched. The lack of understanding of both the concept and methods for manpower development in a post-colonial Nigerian State in which the process of human resource development for was distorted by colonialism with the attendant negative orientation that was injected into political leadership (Ekpo 2000). Training is a key factor in enhancing the efficiency and expertise of the workforce. The Students Work Experience (SIWES) program prepares students for labor markets. It has become an innovative phenomenon in human resources development and training in Nigeria.
According to Obisi (2003), training and development aim at developing competencies such as technical, human, conceptual and managerial for the furtherance of individual and organizational growth. George (2004) notes that “employee development programs are becoming increasingly popular in organizations as they focus on enhancing the effectiveness of their workforce. He noted that activities that make up employee development include skill assessment, job experience, formal courses and programs, and professional relationship. These activities can be very costly in terms of time and resources, and must often be justified by demonstrating their potential for adding value to the organization. Their potential value however depends on the following outcomes for employees who participate in these programs, for instance, learning, on-the-job behavior, and results. If employees participate in development activities, it can benefit both parties (employees and organization) the employees can benefit through enhanced performance leading to greater rewards and career development. However the organization can benefit through improved effectiveness and efficiency of their workforce.
In Nigeria, it is not news that the economy is not performing as it should, considering its potentials. Many organizations, both private and public, cannot be said to be maximizing the human resource as a tool kit, judging by their performances. The worst hit is the public sector, particularly because of the attitude of both the government, on managing human resources and concerns for employee empowerment and satisfaction, on the one hand, and on the other hand, employees’ attitudes of reciprocal norms and perception of public corporation being seen as a source of getting a share of national cake which invariably makes the employees to demonstrates dysfunctional job attitudes and behaviors. Thus, initiating a drive towards orientating and training for all employees, particularly, the public sector organizations is worthwhile.
In this period of economic restraint, it is important that managers do everything possible to assist employees in developing their on the job skills, thus, enhancing employees’ productivity. The emphasis all over the world now is on human capital management, as earlier noted, but this trend is yet to be significantly eminent in Nigeria. However this shift is significant and deserves careful thought, by both private and public organizations. The relevance of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of employee performance on the job cannot be over emphasized, The case of study for this project work is one of the privately owned organisation, a force to be reckon with in the banking industry and one of the key determinant of economic growth and development in Nigeria that is Skye bank Plc. Fajana (2002) noted, “A systematic approach to training and development is requisite in competition oriented organization. Fajana is of the view that objectives must form the focus of training programs, which would be effective.
The mission of maximizing performance is ultimately about aligning people and processes with the organizations goals and objectives most organizations don’t have a good plan to make this happen, much less a clear way of executing this mission. The human resources, as well as all elements in the management team, marketing, finance etc together are responsible for achieving sustainable development. But in particular, Human resources does this through employee recruitment and retention, motivation and training and development. Training and development, depending on its kind and frequency should have positive impact on changing job attitude and behavior. If this is certain, then improved productivity at work is heightened.
Training is a key factor in enhancing the efficiency and expertise of the workforce. The industrial training fund program prepares students for labour markets. It has become an innovative phenomenon in human resources development and training in Nigeria. According to Ochiagha (2005) practical knowledge is learning without which mastery of an area of knowledge may be too difficult to achieve. Practical knowledge involves developing skills through the use of tools or equipment to perform tasks that are related to a field of study. No society can achieve meaningful progress without encouraging its youth to acquire necessary practical skills. Such skills enable them to harness available resources to meet the needs of society. It was against this background that Industrial training fund (ITF), was introduced in Nigerian. Industrial training fund (ITF) is a skill development program designed to prepare students of universities, polytechnics/monotechnics, and colleges of education for transition from the college environment to work (Akerejola 2008). According to Oyedele (1990) work experience is an educational program in which students participate in work activities while attending school. This work experience gives students the opportunity to be part of an actual work situation outside the classroom. The industrial training fund is a cooperative industrial internship program that involves institutions of higher learning, industries, the federal government of Nigeria, Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and NBTE/NCCE in Nigeria.
A typical example of the manifestation of the concept manpower development could be viewed from the perspective of the Nigerian educational system which is anchored on the 9-3-4 system which sought to address the manpower need of the country through mechanisms geared towards developing manpower that would boost the nation’s socio-economic and technological advancement (FGN, 1998). However, the concepts of training and development could be used interchangeably in that they are both encompassing of each other. The conception of manpower development encompasses both organizational specific through training and retraining of staff to meet up with organizational requirements, as well as the turning-out of human resources that is needed for the economic development of the state. Industrial Training, play an important role in economies as they act as a mechanism for the distribution of high qualities manpower. In some cases, The Industrial Training), have proved more resistant to economic crises than large corporations. This is because their capacity for regeneration and flexibility is greater, even though individually they are more vulnerable as a result of their size. Similarly, it has recently been shown that they have a great capacity to integrate themselves into the productive processes of large industry through subcontracting. As well as these advantages, the small firm innovates with greater speed as its projects come to maturity in shorter periods of time.
Furthermore, the Industrial Training, is currently facing the challenge of becoming part of the globalization process while, in most cases, they are still confronting the daily struggle to survive. Thus, the challenge is greater when it is combined with other factors, like fragile negotiating power (financial, political, and economic); weak unions and cooperation and lack of agile, sufficient, opportune state support mechanisms. Due to the size and nature of challenges, as well as the benefits involved in having more competitive ITF, almost all the industrialized countries have been obliged to establish policies, strategies and mechanisms to support these entities. Thus, the promotion, support and, in some cases, rescue ofITF take place by means of financing, technical and managerial training, access to information, associative models between ITF and between ITF and large enterprises, stimuli to collaborate with universities and ITF centers, etc. Support mechanisms for ITF have also been created in the country although their scope more limited. Nigeria has not been the exception and has created various support programmed for industrial policy.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is no doubt in the fact that training and manpower development play an integral part towards the development of any nation. The incapacitation and inefficiency of the indigenous industries to grow and contribute to national development is germane towards the introduction of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). The main objective of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is to enhance the capacity of the local and indigenous industries. It is in line with this scenario that this study assesses the operational efficiency of ITF in Lagos state, Nigeria.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general aim of this study was to assess the operational effectiveness of industrial training fund services delivery in Nigeria. The study has the following specific objectives:
(i) To identify the basic functions and services of the industrial training fund.
(ii) To identify the core values and culture of the industrial training fund.
(iii) To examine the channels of communication and office procedures in the fund.
(iv) Apply the knowledge, skills and corporate attitudes learnt on their day to day official functions.
(v) To be the foremost skills training and development organization in Nigeria and one of the best in the world.
(vi) Assess the perception of staff about the role of industrial training fund in the discharge of its duties.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How effectively managed are the programmes of industrial training fund?
2. Is the industrial training fund effectively managed in terms of all operational effectiveness variables?
3. What is the perception of the staff on the effectiveness of the industrial training fund?
4. How effective are industrial training fund in terms of programme results?
5. How well do these ITF staff cope with changing work, technology, structure and policies?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
1 Industrial training funds programmes have not met is objectives.
2 There is no correlation in the programme management effectiveness of industrial training fund.
3 Industrial Training Programmes are not beneficial to the participants.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
To develop a pool of indigenous manpower with required skills to serve the Nation’s economy. The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), have been in operation for almost four decades, a period that is long enough to achieve the objectives to which it was set up. This study will provide information about the capability with which these organizations have been performing their tasks. Its finding will go a long way in contributing to the enhancement of direct training, vocational and apprentice training and consultancy services, and also build capacity for youth and graduate self employment in the context of small scale industrialization in the economy and finally its finding will contribute towards the efforts of ITF services in stimulate hu man performance and improve productivity, and support of management of ITF, acquaint with the in-depth knowledge of the various arms of the fund for effectively and efficiently perform the various. Functions assigned for the overall achievement of the corporate objectives.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to industrial training fund. It aimed at assessing the operational effectiveness of industrial training fund in Lagos- Sate of Nigeria. In selecting industrial training fund, the researcher has based his choice primarily on:
i. Proximity – that is, the ITF is well organized and based in Lagos locality
ii. The study is limited to ITF in Lagos state to the exclusion of the other state in Nigeria.