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Firm calls for public, private collaboration on youth development

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
01 July 2022   |   4:15 am
Worried by the escalating unemployment rate and the lingering crisis in the nation’s education sector, particularly the incessant ASUU strikes, an indigenous Information Technology outfit...

PHOTO: Financial Technology Africa

Worried by the escalating unemployment rate and the lingering crisis in the nation’s education sector, particularly the incessant ASUU strikes, an indigenous Information Technology outfit, SkillPaddy, has called on necessary stakeholders to collaborate with technology experts on how to help build the future of Nigerian youths in areas of training.

The firm harped on the need for Nigeria to train its youths to meet up with international required skills and expertise.

Speaking at the launching of the youths skill acquisition programme held in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SkillPaddy, Kunle Erinle, enjoined participating stakeholders from both the public and private sector, especially representatives of Lagos State government as well as leading figures from Nigeria’s IT industry, to show more determination and commitments on how Nigerian youth could be trained and developed in the area of technology.

Erinle, noted there are challenges ahead of the country if it fails to expose its youths to international standards in relation to technology.

He said the company, SkillPaddy, began working with young Nigerians after the 2020 global Covid-19 pandemic that negatively affected the global economy.

Erinle said with the help of industry experts, the company rolled-out courses on the SkillPaddy platform, with the goal of drafting learners into a community for a three-month program, supported by several partner organisations.

“Rather than leave the learners on their own after training, SkillPaddy will help participants gain on-the-job experience and expand their opportunities with their partners and sponsors.”

Erinle added that SkillPaddy aims to not only address unemployment in Nigeria, but help in bridging the productivity gap, which currently exists in many industries.

He said, “The world is changing very fast. Today, eight out of 10 biggest companies in the world are in the tech industry. This translates to 10 million jobs in the digital technology space, with one million of these jobs open in Africa. Do you realise that most of these jobs remain open year after year, because people with the right skills are either not applying or none existent? It is a real challenge for us as a continent, and that is why SkillPaddy exists.”

He said further that the platform will be officially rolling out its first batch of courses for roles that are in high demand in the employment market such as graphic design, mobile app development, business analysis, product management, software testing and many more.

“To further help learners, our partnership now extends to different fields including the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Honeywell Group, Chocolate City Group and others to help them transition into most industries that are now driven by tech. Obviously, we are seeking more partnerships and hope to expand our array of courses and experts.”

Also speaking at the event, Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology to Lagos State governor, Sanwo Olu, Olatunbosun Alake, agreed that SkillPaddy activity is a catalyst for sustainable economic development and that “rising talent eco-system is indeed the bedrock of development and economic excellence”.

He said it is important that companies like SkillPaddy are taking up the responsibility to drive the conversation and create an avenue for partnership involvement for different solutions.

Alake said there should be collaboration between the public and private sector to build an eco-system of innovation capacities. Panellists from different sectors who discussed need to for skills agreed that prospects exist in various industries that require skill men and women to take up such opportunities