In its bid to bridge the widening skill gap in the artisan segment of Nigeria’s Real Estate Industry, leading Total Real Estate Solutions Company, Alpha Mead Group, has partnered with the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), through its recently-launched Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative; Alpha Mead PATH – an acronym for Professionalism Acquired through Timely Human Development. 

“This new initiative is aimed at demonstrating our unalloyed commitment to human capital development, business sustainability and economic prosperity of the markets where we operate,” says Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director. 

The Alpha Mead Group CEO explained that the programme seeks to frontally address the dearth of artisan skills in the market by mobilizing and working with Alpha Mead employees to make technical education attractive again, increase employment opportunities for artisans and create sustainable wealth for this segment of the Real Estate industry. 

The pilot programme was launched in Lagos last week with a two-day special training and mentoring sessions for more than 100 technical college students from Ikorodu, Ikeja, Ikotun, Epe and Badagry. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the session in Ikeja, Engr. Laolu Oguntuyi, Director of Technical and Vocational Training, LASTVEB thanked Alpha Mead Group immensely; noting that the initiative is not just timely, it addresses fundamental gaps that the board has been looking to fill over the years too. 

He said: “I must commend Alpha Mead Group for the initiative because it speaks cogently to identified gaps we have been doing so much to bridge at the board. The difference between acquired skills and required skills is what is called a skill gap. And as a board, we have noticed these gaps and making efforts to close them. So, when a company like Alpha Mead Group, with over 12 years’ experience in the market across 11 countries approached us to collaborate in supplying that side of required skills that has been  missing, we embraced it and that is why we had to bring in students from all our technical colleges in Lagos to be part of this”. 

Oguntuyi advised the students to take the opportunity seriously because they will need those skills to progress in their career and in life. “The world is now a global village. What that means is that there is nothing called local skill any longer. There can only be one standard and that is what will be acceptable globally. I encourage you all to seize this rare opportunity to expose yourself to these international standards so you can be relevant in the market that is emerging globally”, Oguntuyi told the students. 

Speaking during the event, Wale Odufalu, Group Executive Director, Corporate Services of Alpha Mead said: “at Alpha Mead Group, human and capacity development is dear to our hearts. We recognize that business success and sustainability can only happen when the right people with the right capabilities and skills drive the process. As an organization that works with a lot of technicians, we have experienced firsthand, the impact of these skill gaps on operational output. But rather than shy away or complain, in addition to what we are doing to constantly upskill the crop of technical staff in our employment, we decided to take a holistic approach to address the challenge over the years”. 

“This is one of such holistic approaches. Bringing the required skills, through the experiences of our employees, to meet the students in the classroom so when they go out there, they can combine the acquired skills they learnt in the classroom with the required skill we have designed for them and become better and more competitive”. 

“This approach is not new to Alpha Mead. For example, we had to set up the Alpha Mead Training Centre (AMTC) to increase Facilities Management skills and competencies in the market; because no higher institution in Nigeria today offers Facilities Management at the undergraduate level. Today, AMTC has not just produced some of the best FM talents in Alpha Mead, it has supplied the industry with competent hands”. 

On her Part, Erejuwa Gbadebo, Managing Director of Alpha Mead Group’s Real Estate Research and Advisory arm, Alpha Mead Real Estate Partners (AMREP), noted that the PATH initiative is another way Alpha Mead wants to increase the opportunity and deepen the Real Estate sector. “So, after considering a number of options, we concluded to work with the technical colleges, because that’s the bedrock of technical and vocational skill in Nigeria today”, she noted. 

Tope Jemirigbe, CEO of DKK Nigeria, Alpha Mead Group’s Marketing Communications Partner, also commended Alpha Mead for the initiative; saying, “as a company, we always advise our clients to give back because business sustainability isn’t just about profit; it is about giving back to the people and the society. We are not just happy that Alpha Mead took our advice, we are proud of the turn of this event initiative, which is designed to uplift lives at the lowest rung of the social ladder”.