This study is on Challenges of students industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self employment. The total population for the study is 200 students of selected higher institution in Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made male final year students, female final year students, year four students and year three students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies



  • Background of the study

The level of development of a country is often considered to be an offshoot of the nature of her educational system and programme. This point is true to the extent that the technological objectives of a nation are usually rooted in the educational objectives and programmes of the country. Thus, education for development is a veritable instrument for socio-economic emancipation and economic self-reliance of every country. The level of technological development and skill acquisition has become the basis for determining social, economic and industrial development. Adequate skill acquisition training programmes through technical vocational education (TVE) holds the key to development and economic survival of a nation. At the lower level business education can be described as a vocational course, an encompassing programme which equips its recipients with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to succeed in whatever business endeavours they may engage in. In other words, business education goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge for scientific and technical qualification but equips recipients for their work in industry, commerce, central or local government (BEC 1975). Business education may also be referred to an educational process or content which has its primary aim of preparing individuals for roles in business enterprises; either as employees, entrepreneur/employer or simply as self-employed. (Anao, 1986).

Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) according to Oyeniyi (2011) is a program designed to expose and prepare students of Institutions of Higher Learning for industrial work situation which they are likely to meet after graduation. It is the Nigerian government human resources development training and development program introduced to bridge the gap between the theoretical work of our institutions of higher learning in the fields of engineering, technical, vocational, business and other related practical courses, and what obtains in practice, in the world of work. Industrial Training Fund (ITF) (2002), outlined the following as the specific objectives of SIWES:

To provide an avenue for students in institutions of higher learning to acquire industrial skills and experience in their course of study, which are restricted to engineering and technology, including environmental studies and other courses that may be approved

To expose students to basic methods and techniques in handling equipment and machinery that may not be available in their learning institutions

To make transition from school to the world of work easier, and enhance students contacts for late job placement; and

To strengthen employers involvement in the entire educational process and prepare students for employment in industry and commerce.

Obviously, this program in paper is faultless. The objectives of the program have not differed significantly since its introduction in the 1970’s. Yet, several studies have shown that SIWES has not formed that needed bridge to close the gap between the theories studied in the classroom on one hand, and the practice as is obtained in the actual work situation. Orikpe (2013) affirms that the inability of SIWES to meet the objective of its introduction was because only little attention is paid to the training value of the scheme. The students do not take the scheme serious and only a few employers are interested in employing the students not even as ‘learning workers’ but as ‘producing workers’. Okolocha and Ibik (2014) opined that the major problems of SIWES in Nigeria are lack of proper implementation and lack of commitment by tertiary institutions, industries, government and the coordinating agencies. In all, SIWES has failed in meeting the practical production skills, attitudes, abilities and competencies required to make Nigerian technological, engineering, business and other vocational education graduates readily employable or to be self-reliant. The ripple effect of this failure is the persistent increase in the unemployment rate of graduates rolled out of school without the requisite job competencies required in the world of work. Unemployment according to Stuart (2001) is a situation that occurs when a person who is actually searching for employment is unable to find one. Unemployment rate on the other hand is the number of unemployed persons divided by the labor force, where the labor force is the number of unemployed persons plus the number of employed persons (Eme, 2014). Unemployment rate measures the percentage of employable people, willing and qualified for employment and who have either lost their jobs or have not gotten one. It is a basic statistical tool for measuring the poverty level of a state. SIWES was basically introduced to equip the participating students with needed skills and competencies for employment and employment generation. The scheme is aimed at equipping the students with such experiences that will aid their job creation ability as well as aid them fit into the job vacancies in the offices and industries. Thus, the major objective of SIWES is the reduction of the worrisome unemployment rate among Nigerian graduates that studied specialized courses. However, despite the continued implementation of SIWES, studies have shown that Business Education graduates still roam the street in search for job, thereby compounding the unemployment predicament of Nigerian nation. Agboh and Ugwu (2012) observed that, inspite of the job crating qualities attributable to business education as a program of studies, beneficiaries still form part of the bulk of Nigerian unemployed graduates that roam the street in search of jobs. The implication is that something is wrong somewhere, thus a change is desired.


The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) as is undertaken by Business Education graduates is supposed to expose them to a variety of on-the-job productive skills. That is, promoting the acquisition of practicable work skills and competencies desirable of business education graduates to fit in the world of work without hindrances. SIWES is purposed at ensuring that its participants did not only acquire the needed industrial work situation skills, but are also equipped with the opportunities to develop their self-potentials to face the societal future developmental and survival challenges. Alagbe (2007) stated that SIWES emerged as a stimulating factor in making students practical experience real and their education meaningful. The scheme was aimed at opening to the participants a wide range of gates to entrepreneurial training and skills development which would not only lead to their transition from the classroom to office as employees, but also to create job, thus reducing the level of unemployment in Nigeria.

To some extent, SIWES has been able to equip participants with these employable and transitory competencies. However, studies have shown that much is still needed to be done in this area. Olabiyi, Okarfor, and Aiyelabowo (2012) in their study found out that, SIWES has not yielded the desired change in the beneficiary’s work habits due to inadequate supervision of students by both teachers and the industrial based supervisors, disruption in the school academic calendar, and the disparities between the curriculum contents and the experience the students are exposed to during SIWES. There are equally reported cases of graduates lack of employable skills among different employers of labour in the country. Okorocha and Ibik (2007) decried that, business education graduates were still being rejected by employers of labor due to nonexistence of school to industry linkages to ensure facilitation of economic boom through graduate quality. The school environment is totally different in terms of equipment and facilities from what obtains in the actual work environment, yet SIWES was not properly positioned to bridge the gap. Base on this background the researcher wants to investigate Challenges of student’s industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self-employment.


The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the challenges of student’s industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self-employment
  2. To ascertain the relationship between student industrial work experience (SIWES) and self-employment
  3. To examine the student practical experience during their SIWES programme

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0there is no challenges of student’s industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self-employment

H1there is challenges of student’s industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self-employment

H02: there is no relationship between student industrial work experience (SIWES) and self-employment

H2there is relationship between student industrial work experience (SIWES) and self-employment


The result of this research will be beneficial to a number of groups and individuals. The study finding will provide vocational students, employers of labour, administrator, policy maker and researchers with relevant baseline data. The study finding will provide vocational students an avenue to appreciate the integration of theoretical and practical component that will prepare these students for the “real world” and provide them basic job skill to function in the labour market.

Also, the finding may bring a useful contribution to employer of labour who are faced with the task of relating educational target will gainful employment objectives and the need of the national economic as well as help in determine whether skill acquire by graduate will contributing to the organization


The scope of the study covers Challenges of students industrial work experience (SIWES) in preparing business education recipients for self employment. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

SIWES: students industrial work experience

BUSINESS EDUCATION: Business Education is an aspect of Vocational and Technical Education, a specialized programme of instruction designed to provide individuals with knowledge, skills and attitudes leading to employability and advancement in office occupations as well as teaching business subjects.

 SELF EMPLOY: Self-employment is the state of working for oneself rather than an employer. Generally, tax authorities will view a person as self-employed if the person chooses to be recognized as such, or is generating income such that the person is required to file a tax return under legislation in the relevant jurisdiction