Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the payment of N30,000 monthly stipends to 2017 ReadySetWork (RSW) interns who have been placed in various organisations for six-month paid internships.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, who revealed this in a statement, added that the Governor had also approved N8 million as seed funding for the top five winners of the RSW Business Pitch Competition, whose businesses will be placed in incubation.
The 1,000 beneficiaries will commence their internships and incubation on March 1, 2018. They represent 50 per cent of the 2,000 final year students from six tertiary institutions in Lagos State who took part in the 13-week intensive work-readiness and entrepreneurship training programme.
In 2016, when the RSW programme piloted, only 76 of the 500 final year students from three Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions got internship placement.
The number of participants was scaled up last year for the second edition to include 12,000 Students from six institutions which include 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).
Bank-Olemoh said the number of internship placement increased astronomically because of the Governor and private sector support.
He said: “In 2016, we placed 76 students in internships with partner organisations like PwC, SystemSpecs, Total, GTBank, FCMB and Access Bank, to mention a few, who provided six-month paid internship opportunities for RSW graduates. His Excellency, 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.”
Meanwhile, Bank-Olemoh said preparations have started for RSW 2018 – with plans to train up to 25,000 students.
“This year, we are further expanding the programme to train 25,000 students. Five thousand final year students will participate in the 13-week face-to-face classes, while 20,000 students in their penultimate year will take part in the RSW Online Academy,” he said.