NIAJIRI: YOUR CAREER STARTS HERE
Using AI and data to equip youth with employable skills and provide employers access to young talent
A disconnect exists between the skills of Tanzanian’s university graduates and the skills required by employers. According to the Inter University East Africa Council Research, 6 out of 10 graduates in Tanzania do not have the right skills to secure a job. With about 900,000 youth graduating from universities every year, this lack of skills leads to high rates of unemployment, even among university graduates.
Photo Credit: Daniel Kitwika
As a provider of an end-to-end solution for employers in the market, we plan on using data and artificial intelligence (AI) to help identify and nurture talent so that we can empower youth with the right skills to find employment.
Niajiri is an online platform designed to connect employers to a ready market of trained and tested youth. We seek to be the employment platform that both provides skills to youth and serves as a talent pipeline for employers. Using data and AI, we are creating a streamlined service that assess the skills of job seekers, provide contextualized training based on the skills assessment, and where possible, link trained youth to employers. Furthermore, the Niajiri platform will aggregate data to uncover and analyze employment patterns in Tanzania.
To understand employers’ needs, we met with corporations to understand their pain points in hiring talent, validate the use of an online platform in solving their challenges, and obtain qualitative feedback on the platform design. Out of 25 companies that we asked to participate in focus group discussions, 13 confirmed and 9 actually attended the session.
We also reached out to relevant stakeholders that focus on youth employability to learn about training, certification, and the regulations around conduct and employment. Stakeholders included the International Labour Organization (ILO), Tanzania Employment Service Agency (TaESA), Association of Tanzanian Employers (ATE), Tanzania Communication and Regulatory Authority (TCRA), CV People, and National Council for Technical Education (NACTE). Furthermore, we invited third and fourth year university students, recent graduates, and graduate training program candidates to share their experience. Out of 83 that registered, 34 participated in the focus group discussions. Finally, we conducted a mass survey of all 2,000 Niajiri platform users to test the assumptions generated by our focus groups.
After receiving feedback, the team embarked on scaling up the platform by integrating it with a Learning Management System (LMS) that provides the employability course, designing a skills metric assessment, and creating an interface that will optimize users’ participation. Along with these efforts, the team is actively recruiting employers to onboard them into the platform.
Outcomes and Impacts
Niajiri’s main goal is to empower youth with employable skills and make it easier for companies to access ready and tested youth talent. Metrics that will be used to asses our impact include:
- Courses successfully completed on the platform
- Skills metric before, during and after taking a course
- User engagement on the platform
- Number of onboarded employers searching for entry level talent
Ekihya Ltd. is a boutique strategy and management consulting company that helps Tanzanian organizations to promote efficiency and effectiveness in their daily operations. Ekihya Ltd. has received a $75,550 grant and mentoring from the Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge (DLIIC) to drive their project. DLIIC aims to engage, support, and connect Tanzanian innovators, developers, and solution providers to each other and to opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. To learn more, visit http://www.dliinnovationchallenge.or.tz.