Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the payment of N30,000 as monthly stipends to Ready.Set.Work (RSW) interns who have been placed in various organisations for six-month paid internships.

The Governor also approved N8million in seed funding for the top five winners of the RSW Business Pitch Competition, whose businesses will be placed in incubation, while the beneficiaries will commence their internships and incubation, respectively, on March 1st, 2018.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh in a statement on Sunday said the interns were part of the 2,000 final year students from six tertiary institutions in the State who took part in the 2017 edition of the 13-week intensive Entrepreneurship and Employability training programme.

He said that the Ready.Set.Work programme, which held its pilot in 2016 with 500 final year students from three tertiary institutions in Lagos State, was scaled up in 2017 to 12,000 Students from six institutions including 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.

“In 2016, we placed 76 students in internships with partner organizations like PwC, SystemSpecs, Total, GTBank, FCMB and Access Bank, to mention a few, who provided 6-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,” Bank-Olemoh said.

He also disclosed that preparation for Ready.Set.Work 2018 has commenced, adding that the programme would be expanded to train 25,000 while 5,000 final year students would participate in the 13-week face-to-face classes and that 20,000 students in their penultimate year would take part in the RSW Online Academy.

Besides, Bank-Olemoh said the programme was also increasing the number of participating schools to accommodate more students in the programme, among which are Yaba College of Technology, Federal College of Education (Technical) and a private institution, Caleb University.

The Special Adviser added that the inclusion of new schools was in line with Governor Ambode’s commitment to ensuring that every student that graduates from any tertiary institution in Lagos State is prepared for the world of work as an employer of labour or a value-adding employee.

Bank-Olemoh also called on professionals from different sectors to join the RSW Faculty, the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria, as facilitators for the 2018 training programme, adding that the RSW Faculty recruitment would kick off officially on February 22nd, while the application portal will be accessible on the programme website – www.readysetwork.com.ng.