The Igbo Apprenticeship scheme is a laudable one which helped the Igbo race survive the harsh conditions of the civil war, which saw them lose all their investments, as they were forced to survive on 20 pounds irrespective of their net worth before the ugly episode.
The Apprenticeship scheme is a major factor in the South East having the least poverty rate in Nigeria despite a major absence of critical economic infrastructure to support wealth creation. Most Igbo billionaires and multimillionaires today were products of apprenticeship, and have today become economic champions controlling several aspects of trade and commerce, not just in Nigeria, but the rest of Africa and in the developed world.
In a rapidly changing world where e-commerce has disrupted traditional markets and other digital technologies, revolutionizing industries, the Igbo Apprenticeship model should be transformed to enable it scale at a higher pedestal, creating more value.
Nigerian State Governments and the private sector should establish a partnership where selected young people will be taught modern skills which are relevant to business transformation. After they have undergone tutelage in emotional intelligence, sales and marketing both with digital and offline techniques, agility, design thinking, business intelligence, etc, they will now be deployed to various organizations to serve them through application of their learnt skills.
After they have served those companies for seven years and acquired domain knowledge of the industries they operate in, the CEOs of the companies can now empower those employees who would like to become entrepreneurs of their own, in the line of their business with seed capital to start up, and a network-building on the existing enterprise ( i.e. the platform network model where they will establish businesses which will run on their former company’s infrastructure), creating a win win situation for everyone while reducing poverty.
If this model is adopted across the other geopolitical zones, it will unlock entrepreneurial sustainability and create national prosperity increasing the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.