UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Developer Placement Programme

Part of DCMS’ International Tech Hub Network.

Overview

Challenge

High rate of unemployment and an untapped gig economy

Solution

  • 3 month paid internship opportunities for software developers, leading to the possibility of full time employment

  • Digital enablement for SMEs and tech startups

Impact

  • 100 software developers digitally upskilled via a 3 month paid internship

  • 40 SMEs and tech startups digitally enabled

Background

Nigeria’s youth unemployment/underemployment rate stands at an extraordinary 42.5% (Q4 2020, Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics) – despite this figure, there is rising demand for digital talent. Supporting digital upskilling leads to increased job opportunities through entrepreneurship streams, as well as providing digital enablement for existing SMEs and tech startups which play a major role in developing Nigeria’s local economy.

To address these issues, the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub partnered with Decagon, a software development institute in Nigeria, to launch an intervention programme.

Programme

The Developer Placement Programme was designed to reduce youth unemployment by providing a pathway for software developers (with existing relevant skills acquired either through a bootcamp or through MOOC [Massive Open Online Course – an open educational resource]) to gain employment within partner SMEs and tech startups, enabling these to scale their social impact products.

Launched in January 2021, the programme was immediately very popular – receiving 1767 applications from individuals, and 734 from companies wishing to participate. Following assessment of applicants’ knowledge of software languages, 100 developers were selected. Companies were required to have a senior engineer as part of their team, and were evaluated based on their positive societal, environmental or economic impact.

All programme participants completed a preparatory bootcamp before starting internships in February, which ran through until the end of April.


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The internship has provided me with exposure to industry code base, networking, and possibilities of better opportunities. The best new thing I’ve learnt in the job has been to write better Node.js code.

Agnes Ayuba, Developer Placement Intern


Tech Hub leadership

The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub fully sponsored all 100 software developers’ 3 month internships.

Through this partnership, the Hub has advanced local digital skills development leading to an increase in the number of technology products built and deployed. This stimulation of the local tech ecosystem facilitates growth in Nigeria’s economy, which the UK and other international digital sectors will benefit from.

Looking to the future

Following the programme, 72% of participating SMEs and tech startups reported an increase in diversity of their workforce. As a result of the internships, 15 new digital innovations addressing local development challenges were created.

75% of developers who participated reported increased digital skills, and 5 interns continued at their placement companies in full time employment.

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