Background of the Study
In 1973, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) established and launched the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). The students industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) is a skill training programme designed to expose students of post-secondary schools to the industrial work situation they are likely to meet after graduation. The need for the establishment of the scheme arose when there were growing concerns among industrialists that graduates of institutions of higher learning lacked adequate practical background required for employment in industries. According to Azubuike (2013), the main idea for the establishment of the scheme is to equip students with the skills needed for employment in the industries after graduation.
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skill training programme, designed to expose and prepare students of universities, monotechnics, polytechnics/colleges of Education and for the industrial work situation (Akerejola, 2007). According to Inyiagu (2005), SIWES is the equivalent of cooperative education in the United States of America and in the United Kingdom. SIWES according to Ogbobe (1991) is the accepted skills training programme designed to prepare students of universities, Polytechnic, Monotechnics and Colleges of Education (Technical) for their eventual transition from the school environment to the real world of work. In the same vein, Inyiagu (2005) explained that SIWES is a process of extending and enlarging the learning environment and resources beyond the immediate capabilities of the school. He went further to state that it is effective methods of instruction which help the students not only acquire occupationally oriented knowledge, skill and attitudes, but to have the opportunity also to apply these skills in the real world of work. It is therefore an effort to bridge the gap between theory and practice in our educational practice.
However, the rapid growth and expansion of SIWES, has occurred against the backdrop of successive economic crises which have affected the smooth operation and administration of the Scheme. Most industries in Nigeria today, are operating below installed capacity while others are completely shut down (Manufacturing Association, 2003 – 2006). This has impacted negatively on the Scheme as Institutions of Higher Learning find it increasingly difficult to secure placement for Students in industries where they could acquire the much needed practical experience.
Furthermore, Okorie (2011) stated that the programme or scheme is jointly co-ordinate by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), The National Universities Commission (NUC); National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); National commission for colleges of Education (NCCE) as well as the industries. Students that participate in this work experience program include those studying library science, Engineering, Agriculture, office technology, Business/vocational studies, Environmental/Medical science, pure and applied sciences among others. The minimum duration for the SIWES should be six (6) months SIWES is a core academic requirement carrying six credit units. This requirement must be met by all students in Business education (office/secretarial option) in College of Education Ikere – Ekiti before graduation. The training programme is undertaken in the third year. The specific objectives of the Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme were summarized by the federal government in its Gazette of April, 1978 as follows;
- To provide an avenue for students in the Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to acquire industrial skill and experience in their course of study.
- To expose student of any discipline of study to learn and experience the knowledge, which they required in industry where these are not taught in the lecture room.
- To apply the knowledge taught in the lecture rooms in real industrial situation.
- To use the experience gained from the industrial training in discussion held in the lecture rooms.
- To get a feel of the work environment.
- To gain experience in writing report in any discipline of study works/project.
- To expose students to any field of study of its responsibilities and ethics.
- To expose students to employers as well as to introduce them to Industrial Working Environment
Ugwuanyi and Ezema (2010) noted that SIWES plays a significant role in human resource development in Nigeria. Aderonke (2011) in her study examined SIWES and the dynamics of sustainable skills acquisition and utilization in Nigeria with a view to determining the viability or otherwise of government continuing investment in the scheme. She concluded that SIWES is a good strategy for sustainable skill development and utilization in Nigeria.
Wodi and Dokubo (2009) evaluates the extent to which the agencies involved in the operation and management of SIWES function to achieve the objectives of the programme. Lack of adequate supervision, non signing of necessary materials like ITF Form 8 and students’ logbooks at their places of attachment, difficulties of students in getting placement, unnecessary delay in the payment of students and supervisors’ allowance among others were areas of factors affecting student industrial work experience scheme in College of Education Ikere – Ekiti.
Statement of the Problem
Siwes Students’ should be experts in various offices and organisations they find themselves due to the skills and knowledge acquired during their academic training. But in various offices today, many of them are performing below standard expected of them. The reason for this is because, many of them lack practical skills needed in the modern day office management of which SIWES offers. The primary objective of SIWES is to make industries to complement the schools’ effort by allowing students have good practical experience through the use of their facilities relevant in their areas of studies which may not be provided by the schools. But unfortunately, there are only few industries available for students’ industrial attachment. Because of this, many students do not take this training very serious.
Many of them do not even go to their area of Industrial attachment at all. According to Azubuike (2013), about 60% of IT the students go to their place of attachment to fulfill all righteousness, 30% according to him, attach themselves to organisations where their educational/course of study have no relation, while the remaining 10% only get better place for their Industrial attachment. All these have a negative effect on the students’ intellectual/occupational development after graduation.
Also, it is a well-known fact that if students are exposed to both modern office management and technology as well as modern way of handling office files, recording of transactions and other necessary document used in modern offices today, it will make them to perform greatly. But the major factors affecting students’ industrial work experience scheme is lack of industries for students’ industrial attachment.
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