The problem with Nigeria’s labor force isn’t lack of manpower but the absence of a workforce able to utilize global job trends. Joseph Ari, Director of Industrial Trade Fund ITF, puts the number of Nigerians unfit for emerging jobs at 23 million. To solve this challenge in Lagos, the Job Initiative of Lagos was founded in 2020 as a bridge for connecting students in tertiary institutions within Lagos State with desirable 21st century skills. The goal of the program is to make Lagos students prior to their graduation job ready and this year, amongst notable partners for the event was Akowe.
About Jobs Initiative Lagos
The love for education remains unquenched in Nigeria with 600,000 graduates churned out yearly. The employment rate however isn’t appealing and half of the Nigerian youth populace remain unemployed! In a bid to resolve this, Lagos State, under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2020 launched the Jobs Initiative Lagos, JIL to provide entrepreneurship, employability and basic digital skills required for today’s workplace.
The program works 100 percent online but leverages in-person programs and partners with stakeholders to deliver robust physical programs that include mentorships and job fairs.
The program shows Lagos state’s commitment to improving graduate employment rate and though hosted at the Yaba college of Technology is open to all students of tertiary institutions located in Lagos.
Amongst this year’s partners included :
- Lofty Inc Allied Partners: Chief partner of this year’s JIL. Lofty Inc is a Business development outfit responsible for the startup of popular unicorns Paystack and Andela.
- Akowe: A verification platform used by recruiters and schools to verify academic credentials. Founded in 2020 It also doubles as a certificate issuance platform.
- Scholar X: A business founded on increasing access to quality education through funding, training and upskilling.
- The Young African Leaders Initiative: YALI was founded by former President Barack Obama, to provide the African populace with leadership skills and offers study abroad opportunities.
- Cisco Academy: The education arm of popular networking company Cisco. Cisco academy provides online courses and soft skills to help equip interested individuals with Networking knowledge.
Many more companies and government parastatals such as the Center for entrepreneurship development were present at the 2022 Job Initiative Lagos.
In the 2022 JIL edition, team leads of notable tech and career startups were hosted during a panel session. Here founder and CEO Ayodeji Agboola shared insights on the paths to entrepreneurship and the importance of possessing good work ethics.
Also of note is how Akowe’s mobile app, the digital wallet for verified and verifiable academic records becomes a useful tool to all graduates everywhere, giving them a chance to stand out with digitally verified credentials for the job applications and further studies applications.
Akowe participated in this insightful session which provided mentorship, career advice and prospective internships to graduating students.
Founder Ayodeji in a conversation with Femi, a UI/UX designer, studying at Yabatech.
The future looks bright for Team Akowe: