Nigerian workforce not prepared for future – CareerXpress innovation officer, Ayeni

Ayeni Ekundayo, who is the Chief Innovation Officer of CareerXpress, one of the foremost digital training organisations in Nigeria with an intense focus on digital marketing and transformation

What inspired you to establish CareerXpress?
In today’s world, you need a technological skillset to function in a highly competitive economy. Most skills acquired today by individuals are often no longer required, globally unrecognized or no longer in demand, or disrupted. As a company, we resolved to get into training, to arm people with skills that are in local and global demand.

To what extent will you say COVID-19 has affected your business?
I would say in a positive way. We have been able to capture the attention of prospects who before COVID did not want to listen to us or our offers have decided to contact us and even plug into our services. The pandemic helped us to discover skills that are required to pitch my sales online. Physical meetings are no more essential in trying to sell your products or services, but this is not fresh news.

What are some of your business plans and major challenges facing the business?
In the near future, we would like to set up a global academy. Currently, we are developing lots of online content – a learning platform for all, on how digital marketing works and how to position yourself as an ideal candidate in front of client jobs. Till date, we have trained up to 1000 people and also give them opportunities to earn some income.
 
Another plan is to reduce the volume of poverty across the country, unemployment, inequality of pay – (most especially, the talk of women earning less). At CareerXpress, gender inequality is never considered.

What are the peculiarities that hinder the Nigerian workforce from being prepared for future work?

We still operate a batching system in terms of education, which operates through a process of “do this to become that”. This gives people limits. The Nigerian workforce in my opinion are not prepared for future work.
 
How do you think the government can address some of these peculiarities?
 
Government must become young in mind, by embracing a new ideology, allowing things to work.  How many ministries in Nigeria can you contact and get a quick response or call them directly.  
 
I usually say that the government can always use policy to support, give a soft landing, have waivers for young youths who are interested in doing these things, create incubators and give room for better infrastructure.

What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
One major piece of advice I would like to leave to entrepreneurs within my space is collaboration, let us do a lot of collaborations so that we can scale. Small drops all over the place do not form an ocean.
But, moving as a team, we can crush a lot, and with the ability to not give up because the industry could mess you up (and it will); you’ll get frustrated; they will think of you as irrelevant; even some would go as far as doing hurtful things both internal and external; this stems from a lack for care. For every entrepreneur out there they should focus on the business growth, scale, and make it big and that is the way forward.