Lagos State Partners IBM To Promote Youths Digital Skill 

Yemisi Izuora 

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) through its technology driven initiative, ‘Lagos Innovates’, is collaborating with IBM to build a new digitally-skilled generation. The collaboration will focus on building the skills of young Africans who have limited or no knowledge of emerging technologies.

As part of the collaboration, the LSETF will provide its local expertise in engaging and building the digital capacity of youths in Lagos State through the implementation of IBM’s Digital – Nation Africa (D-NA) Initiative. D-NA programme is intended to help address the digital skills shortage specifically among the millennial population of Africa.

Targeted at youths, especially students in tertiary institutions, and recent graduates, the initiative seeks to train the beneficiaries for 12 to 16 weeks where they will go through a 1-hour to 3-hour classroom workshop. The initiative through a freely accessible online learning environment delivered on IBM cloud, will provide a vast range of enabling resources, ranging from introductions to key digital technology through the provision of online courses covering highly sought-after IT topics.

The entire duration of the digital skills training comprises three primary learning and enablement journeys namely The Explorer; The Innovator and the New Collar. The “Explorer” journey provides the users with an overview of the key digital technologies which are both driving the digital platform today and will enable innovation in the future while the “Innovator” journey is designed to unleash the creative juices of the users, show them how to turn an idea into reality and provide a platform on which they can create their solution. The “New Collar” journey on the other hand, offers the users in-depth training whilst leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advise them on technical skills required for job acquisition.

Commenting on the partnership, the Executive Secretary of the LSETF, Mr. Akintunde Oyebode said: “We are very pleased to be part of this game changing partnership with a leading global IT brand as IBM. It is a very crucial step in our journey to making Lagos tech-ecosystem the leading reference for Africa’s tech innovation and development.” 

“Any sectors of the economy that intends to dominate the growth frontier must have a steady supply of world-class skilled talents to fuel innovation and disruptions. This partnership puts us in pole position to achieve this and other objectives for the Lagos tech ecosystem. The fact that it is targeted at the youths assures of an incremental upside for the sector. I believe that this would propel our youths into taking decisive steps towards self-discovery and expression of the creativity and innovations. The future has never been this bright,” Mr. Oyebode added.

Another very strong feature of this programme is that on successful completion of each course in the learning journey, all students will be eligible for an open badge issued by IBM. This badge is a cross-industry digital recognition of technical skills which can be shared on their social and professional networking sites.

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