West African Vocational Education (WAVE) is tackling youth unemployment by getting young people work-ready through skills development and helping employers find untapped talent for their businesses. The social venture’s unique screen-train-match-support model places competencies over credentials, putting trainees in charge of their own learning with experiential instructional methods. WAVE’s team has deftly leveled the playing field for thousands of Nigerian youths in Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Cross River, and Kano states since 2013. WAVE also promotes a “competencies over credentials” philosophy with their ReadyForWork movement.
- Livelihoods, Youth, and Vocational Training
- 70% employment rate among WAVE alumni with a 2.6X income transformation post-training
- 31% year-on-year increase in income of youth who have completed WAVE training programs
- 4,500+ youths aged 18-35 years trained and mentored for future opportunities in the job market
- 2,200+ WAVErs matched to jobs that fit with their new skills, goals, and achievements
- 50,000+ youths improved their employability skills through WAVE’s 30+ growth partners
- Trained youth across 7 states in Nigeria
- WAVE’s curriculum, mentorship opportunities and connections to over 800+ businesses challenges Nigeria’s youth unemployment crisis
- WAVE’s model screens candidates for innate talents and recruits new students regardless of their existing qualifications, connections or privilege
- WAVE empowers employers to use inclusive hiring practices which promotes competence over credentials thereby giving more youth the chance to access more job opportunities
Molade Adeniyi is CEO of WAVE, an organisation focused on levelling the playing field for young people to access the skills and the opportunity to become what they imagine. Molade is extremely passionate about social change and youth development. She believes that no one should be left behind.
Molade’s experience includes Business Development, operational and strategic management of special projects in line with the organization’s strategy for growth, Learning and Development, Marketing & Communications as well as People Management. She is a 2021 West Africa Acumen Fellow.
By 2050, it is estimated that Africa will have the largest population of youth globally. As young people are set to represent an important share of the continent’s population, it is imperative to note the risks that can arise if the young population is not given the opportunities needed to improve their lives. Young people are extremely resilient and innovative, and with the right skills and opportunities, the outcome is mind-blowing. I look forward to a world where African youth have the skills and the opportunities to become what they imagine! This world is possible.