Student's Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES)
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a unit under the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. It was established in 2016. The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skills training programme designed to expose and prepare students of universities and other tertiary institutions for the Industrial Work situation they are likely to meet after graduation.
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), is the accepted training programme, which is part of the approved Minimum Academic Standard in the various degree programmes for all Nigerian Universities. The scheme is aimed at bridging the existing gap between theory and practice of Sciences, Agriculture, Medical Sciences (including Nursing), Engineering and Technology, Management, Information and Communication Technology, and other professional educational programmes in the Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is aimed at exposing students to machines and equipment, professional work methods, and ways of safeguarding the work areas and workers in industries, offices, laboratories, hospitals, and other organizations.
It is a cooperative industrial internship program that involves institutions of higher learning, industries, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), and the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).
VISION AND MISSION OF MTU SIWES UNIT
To equip students with the necessary practical knowledge and technical skills for self-employment and effective involvement in Nigeria's industrial growth.
HISTORY OF SIWES
SIWES was founded in 1973 by ITF (Industrial Training Funds) to address the problem of tertiary institution graduates' lack of appropriate skills for employment in Nigerian industries. The Students' Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) was founded to be a skill training programme to help expose and prepare students of universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education for the industrial work situation to be met after graduation.
This system facilitates the transfer from the classroom to the workplace and aids in the application of knowledge. The program allows students to become acquainted with and exposed to the experience required in handling and operating equipment and machinery that are typically not available at their schools.
Prior to the establishment of this scheme, there was a rising concern and trend among industrialists that graduates from higher education institutions lacked appropriate practical experience for employment. Students who entered Nigerian universities to study science and technology were not previously trained in the practical aspects of their chosen fields. As a result of their lack of work experience, they had difficulty finding work.
As a result, employers believed that theoretical education in higher education was unresponsive to the needs of labor employers. Thousands of Nigerians faced this difficulty till 1973. The fund's main motivation for establishing and designing the scheme in 1973/74 was launched against this context.
The ITF (Industrial Training Fund) organization decided to aid all interested Nigerian students and created the SIWES program. The federal government officially approved and presented it in 1974. During its early years, the scheme was entirely supported by the ITF, but as the financial commitment became too much for the fund, it withdrew in 1978. The National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) were given control of the scheme by the federal government in 1979. The federal government handed over supervision and implementation of the scheme to ITF in November 1984. It was taken over by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in July 1985, with the federal government bearing entire responsibility for funding.
OBJECTIVES OF SIWES
The Industrial Training Fund’s Policy Document No. 1 of 1973 which established SIWES outlined the objectives of the scheme as:
- Provide an avenue for students in Institutions of higher learning to acquire industrial skills and experience in their respective courses of study.
- Prepare students for the Industrial Work situation they are likely to experience after graduation.
- Expose students to work methods and techniques of handling equipment and machinery that may not be available in their Institutions.
- Make the transition from school to the world of work easier; and enhance students’ networks for later job placements.
- Provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real work situations, thereby bridging the gap between theory and practice; and
- Enlist and strengthen Employers’ involvement in the entire educational process; thereby preparing the students for employment in Industry and Commerce.
FUNCTIONS/ ACTIVITIES OF MTU SIWES CENTRE
- Develop, implement, and regularly review guidelines for SIWES.
- Registration of eligible students for Industrial Training (IT).
- Compilation of list of students from different Colleges for SIWES.
- Timely collection, completion, and submission of all ITF forms/ documents (master list, placement list, direct e-payment form, ITF form 8) to the supervising ITF office.
- Identify placement opportunities for students and assist in the placement of students on attachment with employers.
- Issue introductory letters to students for the employers.
- Organize orientation programmes for all students going for IT in collaboration with ITF
- Ensure that students have all required documents for successful placement and completion of IT training before embarking on SIWES.
- Ensure the master placement list is timely prepared and submitted to the Industrial Training Fund and National Universities Commission yearly (not later than 3 months before the commencement of Industrial Attachment).
- Organize and coordinate supervisory visits to students at I. T. sites.
- Ensure students' SIWES logbooks are examined, vetted, and signed by University Supervisors, Industry-based Supervisors, and ITF staff.
- Effectively follow up ITF on all payments to students and the University.
- Capture student's bank details at the point of registration for SIWES.
- Develop and sustain the right attitude and mindset among supervisors thus motivating them to effectively play their supervisory role to the maximum benefit of students during SIWES.
- Prepare and submit reports on the scheme to the ITF after the programme.
- Resolve problems arising from Industrial Training during and after the training.
- Develop and track relevant data on students' SIWES to facilitate the development of a SIWES database for the University.
- Ensure accreditation of MTU SIWES Center by NUC.
- Work with relevant Colleges/ Departments to ensure accreditation of courses for approved SIWES programme.
- Liaise and build a good relationship between the University and relevant organizations (NUC, ITF, Industries, etc.).
DURATION OF ATTACHMENT FOR SIWES FUNDING
One requirement for the Bachelor of Engineering or Science award is that students must complete at least 24 weeks of Industrial Training.
In most institutions, SIWES is done at the end of the 2nd-semester examination of either 300, 400, or 500 levels. The time and duration are to be worked out jointly by each university, department, the SIWES unit, and the ITF.