By Emma Okonji
Tek Experts, a global provider of business and information technology (IT) support services, has partnered global IT giant, Microsoft to develop IT talent in Nigeria through the Microsoft LEAP Engineering Acceleration Program (LEAP).
The 16-week programme, which is in its first cohort, is an immersive modern apprenticeship that provides a comprehensive learning experience, including both in classroom technological skills training and on the job apprenticeship for real time engineering projects and deliverables.
The partnership and the ensuing program comes as a strategic response to tackling the dearth of IT talent in Nigeria. By building and developing IT talent through numerous trainings, real-world experiences and online classrooms environments, Microsoft and Tek Experts will be able to provide necessary skills these new entrants into the IT industry.
Speaking on the partnership, Acting Country Manager, Tek Experts Nigeria, Ashim Egunjobi, said: “Nigeria is a country with full and raw potential when it comes to IT talent. Our business requires that we first find this talent and develop them to the fullest potential so they can in turn deliver efficiently on the job. We also believe that continuous empowerment through skills development is key to ensuring a fully equipped workplace of the future and that is why we are embarking on this partnership with Microsoft.”
Egunjobi added: “Once employees enter the workplace, learning never stops. Continuous training platforms must be made available to all employees to ensure that they are constantly learning and growing. We look forward engaging other people as part of this program and we are confident that this current cohort will gain new skills that will ensure they provide value to their organisations in future.”
Also speaking on the partnership, Country Manager at Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, said: “As a technology company, we are aware of the responsibility we have to ensure people have a path to gain relevant skills – no matter where they are in their careers. For this reason, we continue to – in partnership with our business partners like Tek Experts – empower those already in the workforce with the capabilities needed to ensure financial stability, economic prosperity and opportunities for personal growth.”
The Microsoft LEAP Engineering Acceleration Programme is led by the Global Innovation Team at Microsoft and sponsored by the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, Kevin Scott. The programme is designed to provide immersive experiences for the trainees through project management and development courses. LEAP combines traditional classroom learning with hands-on engineering projects.
The first cohort of apprentices, which composed of 10 female Software Engineers from Nigeria, recently began the program in September 2019. Selected as finalists from a hackathon hosted in June, each individual is receiving four weeks classroom training on Software Support Engineering and 12 weeks hands-on projects training involving real life scenarios at Tek Experts’ premises in Victoria Island, Lagos.