Interview: How Ayobami Oyaleke Is Tackling Unemployment In Nigeria Via Placement.ng

0
486
Placements.ng is a search platform for graduate and undergraduate Internship program in Africa, scaling from Nigeria. The startup is playing a key role in reducing the level of unemployment in Africa by equipping interns with necessary skills to make them employable in the labour market and connecting them with employers to work with. Techmoran caught up with Ayobami Oyaleke, the founder and CEO of Placements.ng. He told us about Placements.ng and what it is offering Nigerians.
Can you tell us about Placements.ng and what you have to offer Nigerians?
Placements is a search platform for Graduate & Undergraduate Internship Programs in Africa, Scaling from Nigeria. We are reducing the level of Unemployment in Africa by EQUIPPING Interns with necessary skills to make them employable in the LABOUR MARKET and connecting them with EMPLOYERS to work with. Founded on February 3rd, 2016. Team : OYALEKE Ayobami (FOUNDER & CEO) – Background in software and business development. Tayo FAGBOHUN (Managing Director) – Background in Strategy and business development who has previously worked directly and indirectly with INTEL, MICROSOFT, FIREFOX, ANDELA, and Seedstars Africa.
How do you verify the internship jobs on your platform because there are so many fake job advertisements online?
Right, Job portals have fake jobs on their website because they have left their primary responsibility for another thing, which is aggregation. Every Employer posting an opening on Placements.ng doesn’t have a direct access to make the opening live and visible to the public on our website. All controls toward publishing an Opening lies in the hands of the Administrators.
Why do students struggle to find companies to intern despite the existence of your platform
Because of their level of employability. There are always jobs for students that are employable. Most Nigerian students have not much to offer than the certificate they have received in school and in which traditionally, every employer wants someone that has more skills and value to bring to the table.
What’s the motivation for setting up Placements.ng?

When I started my first software development company in 2011, I needed qualified hands on some part of the projects I handle for clients around the world, majorly from the United States of America and Canada. I needed some hands that could creatively work under no or less supervision with a fair remuneration.

READ  SheriaSoft Wants To Digitize East African Law Firms

I was still in search of right candidates for over 6 months, few tens of applications came in the 4th month, After a fair interview, I couldn’t pick even just one to employ. I was so sad and lost some contracts because there was no one to help with some basics.

In 2013, I decided to work (intern) with a software development company in the United States, who had a subsidiary that major on architectural designs and apparently was in line with what I was studying in the university during the time. Over months of working on software & architectural projects. I was exposed extensively to the technical and business part of handling projects. By the time I concluded my internship contract, I was loaded and ready to shoot.

In 2015, I was expected to go on an internship at the university, which is mandatory for all level 4 students for a period of 6 months. Having a bigger knowledge of the technical part of what I was studying then, which vividly I was training some of my colleagues, I was still in the search of a desired place of internship for nearly 3 months. I searched everywhere online, I got to know about internship opportunities outside the continent. Over a thousand of my level mates experienced this same problem. At the end of the day, I had to settle for less, thereby interning with the company who had a little to add to what I have learnt over the years.

What are the challenges you have encountered?

Basically Consumer Education: Ability to convey to the Intern that they can seamlessly land on the desired Internship program without having to travel the cardinals which emphasis stress, cost and risk.

READ  Moovedin is Connecting Home Seekers with Real Estate Agents

The effort we are putting together to solve this: We have done a successful partnership with 4 Nigeria Institutions Directly where we Organized an Internship Orientation for their students, We have worked with over 10 Other Institutions across Nigeria indirectly.

Any word for budding entrepreneurs? Any growth plans?
 Do your part. We are currently projecting a 3x year on year growth in revenue and resources.  Ageing 20 Months officially and being a ground-breaker offering simple solutions to a difficult problem (Employment & Employability), we have been able to serve over 27,000 interns in Nigeria (where we are scaling from), over 2000 employers, and a successful conversion of over 4000 counting interns.

Any other relevant information.

We are offering a solution tailored to a specific niche. We have created a platform that equips the Interns with the skills needed to enhance their employability at their comfort and connect them with reputable employers to work with, which later projects a “Company-Employee” i.e a full-time employee after concluding the Internship program.