Empowering Lagos Youth Through Digital Skills Training

8thGear Academy is a Nigerian-owned enterprise that focuses on providing skills and helping Nigerian youth secure entry-level jobs in growing businesses. They utilize a “hybrid learning platform” that combines self-paced and instructor-led learning. However, their target customer segment, which is youth, faces high unemployment rates and often cannot afford 8thGear’s programs.

In 2021, 8thGear received a grant award of US$95K under the LSETF-USADF Employability Program to establish the 8thGear Digital Skills Training program. The primary objective of this program was to tackle youth unemployment in Lagos by enhancing job skills and employment opportunities in the business support and information technology sectors. With these funds, 8thGear covered various training costs for their students, including course tuition, training expenses, and placement allowances. They also allocated funds for administrative fees and provided staff training on financial management and grant procedures.

Throughout the project duration, a total of 160 trainees acquired technology and business support skills through courses covering areas such as data analysis, cloud computing, cybersecurity, web development, customer service, administration, digital marketing, and content creation. By the end of 2022, over 70% of the graduates had secured internships, entry-level jobs, gig work, or embarked on entrepreneurial pathways. This training initiative resulted in the creation of more than 130 jobs.

Furthermore, more than ten students utilized their newly acquired skills to pursue further training, enabling them to secure better employment opportunities. Notably, five beneficiaries of this program successfully established their own businesses, magnifying the project’s impact by generating employment opportunities for other youths. This project exemplifies the potential of African youth to initiate positive change within their communities, and USADF remains dedicated to supporting their capacity to do so.

Sourced from: US African Development Foundation

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