IMPACT OF STUDENTS INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME (SIWES) ON THE STUDENTS AFTER THE
COMPLETION OF THE PROGRAMME
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Growing public demand and legislative expectations for accountability in the past two decades have made it imperative that higher education administrators and researchers pay attention to the potential impact of student work programmes on skill development, which in turn, impacts directly on national development objectives. Okpor and Hassan (2012) opined that ‘if Vocational Technical Education is to be meaningful and successful in Nigeria, then relationships are needed between public and private sectors to partner effectively with Vocational Technical Education and skill acquisition programmes.’ Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) is a skill development program designed to prepare students of Nigerian tertiary institutions for transition from the college environment to work, (Akerejola 2008). Oyedele (1990) also states that work experience is an educational program in which students participate in work activities while attending school. This work experience program gives students the opportunity to be part of an actual work situation outside the
classroom. The Student Industrial Work-Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a planned and supervised training intervention based on stated and specific learning and career objectives, and geared towards developing the occupational competencies of the participants. It is a programme required to be undertaken by all students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria pursuing courses in “specialized engineering, technical, business, pure and applied sciences and applied arts” (ITF, 2004). Therefore, SIWES is generic, cutting across over 60 programmes in the universities, over 40 programmes in the polytechnics and about 10 programmes in the colleges of education. Thus, SIWES is not specific to any one course of study or discipline. The impact of Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) has thus, been a cause of concern to education and economic planners, particularly with respect to graduate employment and impact on the general societal development. There are also mixed concerns about how much of it that is actually helpful to student’s academic performance and job readiness aer graduation. While some institutions and programs permit SIWES for only three months, others go for up to one year. There has been several research literatures, in the area of student work experience and its impact on student development of fitness for the challenges of the job market.
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