The Jobs Initiative Lagos, JIL, targeted at young people in eight Lagos-based tertiary institutions has kicked off, Freelanews reports.

At a press briefing held today in Lagos, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, announced that candidates are being trained in entrepreneurship, employability and basic digital skills required for the workplace. He added that the programme would also account for the documented gaps in current curriculum that bedevils the employment market as well as to increase labour employability of graduates in the state.

Revealing that all tertiary institutions in Lagos are now taking lectures online, a feat only Lagos State has achieved in Nigeria, Wahab said that candidates for this initiative, who complete the programme would not be left alone to fend for themselves.

He assured that the Lagos State government is ready to feature them on jobs portal, from where partner corporate organisations could select fresh graduates for recruitment.

“This initiative, titled Digital Skills Initiative Lagos, is aimed at empowering over one million young people in the state by 2023 with digital skills, which will invariably position Lagos as the technology hub of Africa,” he said.

The skills to be taught include coding, phyton, data security, data analytics among others, stressing that the undergraduates who are mainly final year students would be put through 13 weeks intensive sessions.

“Mr Governor has also approved a Phase II for the DSIL, and I will tell you why we are doing that. We have done research in Lagos and we realised we have a lot of youths who have between school certificate and OND certificate, and Lagos with its population especially the youths believed that they can be harnessed to become a tech hub of Africa in the 21st century.

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“We are trying to maximize their full potentials and by so doing there will be job security and not just creating that one million jobs, there will be security in the state because when people are gainfully employed, one of the multiplier effects is that it strengthens your security apparatus. Like they say in the normal parlance that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop, so we will be engaging them and it will be intensive,” Wahab revealed.

And in order to ensure full attendance, Freelanews was informed that plans are already in place to ensure free data to all registered candidates to ensure unrestricted access to internet.

The projects, which started last month, are being coordinated by LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited, an innovation development company that develops start-up teams, manages innovation programmes, and facilitates impact projects in West Africa.

LoftyInc is also in partnership with Microsoft, VMware’s IT Academy, Wennovation Hub, LoftyInc Capital Management and other notable fintech companies in ensuring quality technological innovations.

“The first phase of the initiatives kicked off in June, and would continue over the next four months, leveraging a virtual learning platform while the Digital Skills Initiative Lagos will commence and continue virtually until the ease of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

“The two programmes are in sync with the THEMES AGENDA of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, wherein education is a key pillar with the multiplier effect on human capital development in the whole ecosystem,” Sanwo-Olu’s aide said.

The programme, which is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, and supervised by the Office of the Special Adviser, is targeted at reducing unemployment statistics in Lagos while creating multiple techprenuers.

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