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By Esther Onyegbula

In a bid to reduce the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, along with incessant ASUU strikes keeping millions of young people idle, Intelligent Innovations, an indigenous IT startup recently unveiled a youth-focused online training platform, SkillPaddy.

SkillPaddy platform offers learners a three-month programme, and also assists participants to gain on-the-job experience and expand their opportunities with their partners and sponsors.

According to the CEO of SkillPaddy, Kunle Erinle, the platform aims to not only address unemployment in Nigeria but help in bridging the productivity gap which presently exists in many industries. “The world is changing very fast. Today, eight out of the ten 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. Most of these jobs remain open year after year because people with the right skills are either not applying or nonexistent, it is a real challenge for us as a continent, and that is why SkillPaddy exists.”

The platform will be officially rolling out its first batch of courses for roles that are in high demand in today’s job market such as graphic design, mobile app development, business analysis, product management, software testing and many more. To further help our learners, our partnerships now extend 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. We are seeking more partnerships and hope to expand our array of courses and experts.”

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology, Olatunbosun Alake said that it is very important that companies like these are added to the education ecosystem to be able to deliver on competent talent so that the economy can grow. Talent is the actual component of economic growth. We have massive talent shortages, in manufacturing, technology, engineering, and medicine. So we need to increase the productivity of turning out talents. Companies like Skillpaddy are the missing link that needed to accelerate and implement what the universities are doing.”

Explaining further, Alake noted that the Lagos State Government through the employment trust fund has trained over 30,000 beneficiaries in different sectors. Specifically, in technology, we have trained about 4,000 tech beneficiaries who have benefited from the training that Lagos state has done. We have partners like skillpaddy that execute such training; it is these firms that help the government implement technology training. Apart from that, a lot of private companies also need to collaborate with academic institutions because academic institutions are structured, it is important that the private sector also partners with academia, in that way, we have a tripartite collaboration in education which will improve the output of talent in the ecosystem.”

The event which was held at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos saw in attendance stakeholders from the public and private sector, as well as leading figures from Nigeria’s IT industry.

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