Nestlé develops young engineering talent in Nigeria

Mar 9, 2012
Engineer student PRACTICAL EDUCATION: The students are studying for an internationally recognised qualification.

Nestlé is training the next generation of engineers in Nigeria, offering a select group of five the opportunity to gain international experience at its operations in Switzerland.

Their four-month scholarship will be partly sponsored by the Swiss government in a first-of-its-kind agreement between Switzerland and an African country.

The five students will be selected from a group of 16 currently studying for an engineering certificate at Nestlé’s new ‘Technical Training Center’ in Agbara, Nigeria.


Technological development

“We are committed to helping young people contribute to the technological development of Nigeria,” said Martin Woolnough, Nestlé Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Our aim is to nurture local ability in science and engineering while widening our potential employee talent pool.”


We are committed to helping young people contribute to the technological development of Nigeria. Martin Woolnough, CEO of Nestlé Nigeria

Internationally recognised qualification

Nestlé opened the training centre at its factory in Agbara in 2011 to help local students and employees develop their skills in different areas of manufacturing engineering.

More than 1,000 young people applied for the current student training course, which offers the chance to study for an internationally recognised vocational qualification over 18 months.

The students who were selected are now being supported by Nestlé to achieve a ‘City and Guilds of London Technician Certificate’.

The company’s goal is for all the students to emerge from the course as multi-skilled technical operators, ready for productive employment.


Invaluable experience

Engineer workshop MULTI-SKILLED: Nestlé’s goal is to prepare the students for productive employment.

“It’s a big opportunity,” continued Mr Woolnough.

“All students on the course will receive practical education, training, and an opportunity to use the kind of technical equipment they don’t necessarily have access to at college.

“They will gain invaluable experience working alongside our skilled engineers.”

The five students who go to Switzerland will be chosen at the end of the course on the basis of their performance over 18 months.


Multi-skill training

Nestlé’s Technical Training Center in Agbara is equipped with modern classrooms, a library and computer and technical drawing rooms.

Students attend the centre every day to either participate in lessons or gain hands-on experience in workshops or different production plants in the factory.

The course is led by a full-time coordinator, two part-time instructors who are also engineering lecturers at local universities, and four Nestlé engineers.


Related information:
Nestlé Central and West Africa website

Read more about stories about Nestlé in Nigeria:
Nestlé drives nutrition with ‘Cooking Caravans’ in Africa
Nestlé opens new CHF 87 million factory in Nigeria
Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme helps teachers in Nigeria