The Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has activated its online training platforms to deliver quality service to the public. In this exclusive interview with Chamber Telegraph’s LUBEM GENA, the Acting Director of the Centre, TINUKE TEMITOPE, explains the essence of the Centre and other matters connected to it.
What is the BEST Centre set out to do?
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre was founded in 2018. The chamber entered into a partnership agreement with Knowledge Nation Limited (KNL) to operate and manage the Centre.
ACCI BEST centre provides a practical solution to industry skills and manpower needs, through a demand driven curriculum. Located within serene and beautiful multipurpose grounds of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abuja, the center has been able to create a world-class learning environment. The centre boasts of highly skilled and proficient team of facilitators and experts, with industry experience in both the private and public sector of the Nigerian economy.
How exactly does the Centre carry out its activities?
BEST Centre carries out its activities by conducting training, skills, and capacity development programs, promotes innovation and technology, supports SME business development, and mentoring services.
The Centre organizes scheduled and tailor-made training, targeting the needs of individuals and organizations. The Centre organizes monthly discussion forums tagged “BEST TALKS.” The forum is an opportunity for discussions in selected sectors and stakeholders opinions are compiled for further necessary actions.
The Centre’s activities are targeted towards skills acquisition for Nigerians which directly leads to employment generation and also equips existing and potential entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to be successful.
What significant programs has the Centre carried out in the past two years?
In the past two years, ACCI BEST Centre has trained over 800 existing and potential entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship development.
The Centre Launched the BEST1000 program targeted at training 1000 young Nigerians in diverse vocational skills program. The BEST 1000 program adopted ICT vocational skills training initiative aimed at correcting critical skills gap by focusing on transportable and hands-on skill acquisition to equip Nigerian youths to create wealth by taking advantage of existing opportunities within their immediate environment.
The ICT Vocational Skills Program successfully trained 120 Nigerian youths in Website Design, Web App Development, Graphics Design, Digital Marketing, System Administration, and Photography.
ACCI BEST Centre in its initiative to promote demand-driven and inclusive vocational education and training successfully trained master trainers on gender and disability mainstreaming strategy in Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET).
How positively impactful have these programs, training, and activities been to the targeted population?
The Centre has over the years, received positive testimonials from our Alumni. The ICT Vocational Training program positively impacted the participants as our records and strategic follow-up revealed that over 70% of participants are now employed, self-employed, and employers of labour.
The Centre in its capacity has also involved in sensitization of the public on gender and disability inclusiveness in Technical Vocational Education Training. The training and capacity development under the BEST Centre programs are targeted at improving the business community and the society at large.
The BEST Centre received an international award from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Rio -Brazil in 2019. What accounted for this?
ACCI BEST vocational training program is demand-driven and in line with labor market requirements.
We involve the private sector in program development, accreditation, testing, and certification. The program encourages female participation, including vulnerable groups. The training system pairs hands-on learning with classroom learning to give trainees an advantage in the workforce. The participants graduate not only with the Training Certificate but also with job experience and in-depth knowledge of the trade. These and many more gave us an edge at the 2019 World Chambers Congress in which BEST Centre received an award as a finalist in Best Education and Training Project out of over 70 entries.
Now, the FCT and other states are under lockdown. How is BEST discharging its mandate? Is the Centre also working remotely?
The Centre is discharging its mandate appropriately as we are working remotely. We have launched our online training platform offering a free webinar and BEST TALK in areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, business, and management as it relates to the ongoing situation.
What communication links or platforms are you using to deliver your training?
The ACCI BEST Centre Learning Management System (LMS) and the ZOOM platform are all handy and effectively functional in delivering our training programs.
What is the level of enthusiasm of participants in using these platforms?
I must commend the positive vibes of our network. They all embraced the transition to virtual learning, and participation has been quite impressive, with participants making their contributions and interacting just like the traditional classroom setting.
How sustainable is the use of these means to deliver on your mandate?
Very sustainable, I will say, the world is a global place. This means you don’t have to come to the center before you take advantage of our courses any longer, you can now be part of ACCI BEST Centre from anywhere in the world. We are so excited about this.
What other things do you think people need to know so far as participation in these training are concerned?
ACCI BEST Centre training are carefully selected based on popular demand, identified needs, or prevailing circumstances. Based on the ongoing pandemic, ACCI BEST Centre virtual training are free to participants, and anyone can join. Kindly join our network through any of our social media channels so you can receive an invitation to all our free training.
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