This research work is carried out to find out the role of Vocational and Technical Education in the development of small scale industries in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The study used the survey research methodology to elicit information from respondents. The target population under study was 300 comprising of small scale industries in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State with a sample size of 200 randomly selected using the random sampling technique. A well structured questionnaire was perfectly drawn and data collected was analyzed with statistical tools, tables, frequency and mean. The findings revealed that there is significant relationship between Vocational and Technical Education and development of small scale industries in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The rate of respondents were indicated as strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Therefore, the researcher recommended that training is important in acquiring skills and that workers should be enrolled into vocational schools. It also recommended that government should put more effort in funding skill acquisition programmes which is the bed-rock of any meaningful development.

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1.1   Background to the Study

Vocational education is an occupational preparation for the world of work. It is a technical training geared towards production. This means that is designed to make persons participate and be able to perform well in their chosen occupations and also to remain in their jobs. Prior to the colonization of Nigeria, there existed a form of vocational education where parents transfer knowledge to their children and it goes from one generation to another. This traditional form of vocational education created room for the child to study whatever skill that is obtainable in his or her environment. The advert of colonialism in Nigeria came with the introduction of a formal type of vocational education which was developed from the early form. The syllabus was used as a guide to learning situation in schools.

Fafunwa (1974) emphasized that schools were fashioned in such a way that it did not accommodate the traditional vocational studies that existed before the emergence of colonialism, thus causing a great set back to the indigenous vocational studies.
After independence, the Nigerian government recognized the importance of vocational education and thereby established ways of reviewing craftsmanship through the establishment of technical colleges and universities to produce artisans and technicians.
Today, the Nigerian government has recognized that vocational education is geared towards competency and this forms the bedrock of national development.

Amaewhule (2000) emphasized that it is necessary for the quality of our workforce to be enhanced through the acquisition of necessary skills which vocational education can provide. Olaitan (1991) also asserted that vocational skill acquisition has been a major means of acquiring power and influence. Olaitan further asserted that Egypt’s greatness in the past and present is attributed to the abundance of skills, prominence of builders, agriculturists, traders and scientists. Currently, Nigerian is gaining international recognition because of her vocational expertise which she lends to some poor countries of the world in form of technical aid. Furthermore, the nation itself stands to gain more from vocational education, because it can be able to meet her economic and socio-political obligations.

In this circumstance, the citizens should be skilled and knowledgeable enough to impact positively on the industrial and agricultural development of the country. Vocational education is normally seen as a provider of practical training which serves as a bedrock to skill acquisition. Nigerian workers need adequate basic training that can make them efficient in their occupations. Farms have to be manned by workers with managerial and professional skills, goods, and services have to be produced by skilled and trained men and women in order for them to meet the needs of customers, household appliances, clothing and catering services have to be handled by trained persons with proficiency in their specialized areas.

Construction in modern times requires efficient plumbers, electrical installations, ventilators, and air conditioning repairers. Emerging areas especially the service-related industry like hairdressing, barbing, require such competent skills which vocational educational offers through practical training.

Furthermore, practical training develops the technical competence of the worker, improves work ethics and attitudes and serves as an avenue for healthy and state working conditions. Vocational education also plays an economic role for participants in its programmes. According to Osuala (1999) through student participation in vocational education programmes, options available to them in the working field is increased.

The following are programmes adopted by vocational education institution:

Programmes for the disadvantaged: persons are helped to achieve vocational education objectives that would otherwise remain beyond their reach.

Programmes in vocational areas: Agriculture, business and office, consumer and homemaking cooperative, industrial distributive/marketing and health occupation.

A greater variety of training through these relevant programmes is offered in schools, thus offered them flexibility in the job market. There are a number of problems which hinder the successful execution of vocational education in Nigeria especially for individuals going into occupations. They include among others, poor funding by government and individual sectors: inadequate provision of equipment and facilities, poor manpower supply for the industries. Poor implementation of vocational education programmes by vocational education institutions which are as a result of limited resources for the programme expansion. These flows hinder adequate training for those going in to occupations in Nigeria.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Vocational education traditionally involves acquisition of skills needed to enter in to or advance in a given occupation. Historically, in Nigeria any occupation that has to do with the use of the hands was despised, hence the white collar occupation was preferred over the blue collar occupation ones. This influence the promotion of liberal arts education to the detriment of vocational education.

Consequent upon this development, vocational education has not benefited from any serious planning exercise in Nigeria.
Vocational planning and utilization at the local, state and national levels is lacking. Small business are strongly affected by the problem encountered by vocational education planners, Lack of trends from the government, inadequate manpower skilled supply, Inadequate facilities and equipment for production. It is clear that these flows have led to the different degrees of the business declines.

These problems have greatly led to set back of economic development of the nation.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to ascertain vocational education as a tool for effective economic development and its impact on small scale industry; especially the study will highlight as follows.

  1. To identify the economic importance of technical education to small-scale industries,
  2. To determine vocational education programmes adopted by institutions.
  3. To ascertain whether vocational educational through practical training enhance skills required for small scale industries
  4. Finally to identify the problems facing Small-scale industries due to poor planning of vocational education programmed and measures to be adopted in solving these problems.

1.4   Research Questions

In this study the following research questions will be asked and corresponding answer produced.

  1. To what extent does vocational education contribute to the acquisition of economic importance and influence?
  2. To what extent does practical training lead to the development of skills required in a chosen occupation?
  3. What are the vocational education programmes adopted by institutions?
  4. What are the problems facing small scale industries due to poor planning of vocational education?

1.5   Significance of the Study

This study will help reveal facts that are relevant to government, educational sector and the society of large. Furthermore, the study will also expose to curriculum planners and government within and outside Bayelsa state, on the success and failure of Business Education programme in any society and how corrective measuresc should be taken solving these problems and improve the programme for the benefit of the society.

1.6   Scope of the Study

This study, vocational education: A tool for effective economic development and it’s affect on small scale industry is a research meant to appraise the effectiveness of vocational education in small-scale industries. The researcher decided to choose selected small-scale manufacturing industries in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State. This decision is justified by the fact that small-scale industries in Yenagoa city of Bayelsa State.

1.7   Operational Definition of Terms

In this study unless otherwise stated, the following terms shall be used to mean what is written against them.

Vocational Education: This is an aspect of education that train individuals for the acquisition of skills in a chosen occupation.

Occupation: It refers to a job entered by an individual for self-sustenance.

Implementation: It refers to the process of putting something in to a workable system.

Small-scale Industry: It refers to an industry that provides goods and services in small quantities.

Programmes: Important plan to enhance acquisition of required performance.


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