Youths need relevant skills in line with the fast-changing global economy—- Kunle Erinle


Kunle Erinle is the CEO of Intelligent Innovations, an indigenous Information Technology startup in Nigeria. Recently it launched Skill Paddy, a learning platform that provides youths acquire relevant digital skills. 

In this chat with at the launch of Skill Paddy which took place at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island Erinle, talks about the platform and the opportunity available to young people within and outside Nigeria.

Can you briefly explain what the  Skill Paddy platform is all about?

It is a learning programme created to help Nigeria’s youth develop relevant skills for today’s world, through structured and flexible courses and certifications that help connect them to the local and international job market. 

Skill Paddy helps learners connect with top industry experts and get relevant skills in Technology, Music, Filmmaking and Entrepreneurship. 

How does the average Nigerian youth stand to benefit from the Skill Paddy platform?

Skill Paddy exists to bridge the productivity gap among Nigeria’s youth population by giving them the expertise they need to thrive in the 21st-century global economy. We believe that the future belongs to those who have relevant skills. Our main mission at Skillpaddy is to position and prepare Nigeria’s youth population for opportunities locally and globally. 

Why digital skill acquisition platform at a time like this?

SkillPaddy is in response to the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, along with incessant ASUU strikes keeping millions of young people generally idle. 

The company began working with young Nigerians after the global pandemic to help them develop relevant skills in line with the fast-changing global economy. With the help of industry experts, the company rolled out courses on the SkillPaddy platform, to graft learners into a community for a three-month program, supported by several partner/sponsor organisations. Rather than leave the learners on their own after training

What makes this different from other training programmes?

SkillPaddy will help participants gain on-the-job experience and expand their opportunities with their partners and sponsors.

It aims to address unemployment in Nigeria as well as help in bridging the productivity gap which presently exists in many industries. 

The world is changing very fast. Today, eight out of the 10 biggest companies in the world are in the tech industry. This moment 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.

What courses are available for prospective students?

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. 

How do you intend to achieve these targets?

And skill paddy is here to provide a platform to help these young people to be able to connect the dots. undergraduates who are still university graduates or want a career switch you should be able to come to skill and get some courses to start your journey and help you connect with tutors and coaches that can help you get unskilled ready for the future.

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 get and hope to expand our array of courses and experts.

This training spanned Africa, and would be done remotely how do you intend to take care of internet challenges in rural areas?

We will be partnering with telecommunications companies, so the telecommunications company today have penetration and distribution across the country, and a lot of people today have mobile phones. We will be working with them to bundle data plans with the skill paddy platform. This will allow a lot more people access to the platform not just in Nigeria but in companies that operate across Africa. MTN and Airtel we are in conversation with some of them to see how we can scale skill paddy across Africa with time.

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