Japa season is here again and it has been predicted by many analysts that thousands of young Nigerians with UK visas will be leaving the country in droves in the coming weeks in search of better lives abroad.
But as a lot of them have found out-- and many more are still finding out, obtaining those visas is not easy. From finance, finding the right schools and jobs with the right tuition plans, and even getting affordable accommodation abroad, many have been frustrated, with a lot of them giving up the search.
It is against this backdrop that Kelvin Alaneme created CareerEdu, an education technology platform that is not only simplifying the process of landing UK visas but is also hooking young Nigerians up to the right schools, and the right jobs, very cost-effective means and an overall seamless process.
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Registered in both Nigeria and the UK, the platform, which set out to simply share free relocation information and opportunities, has since morphed into a launchpad for global opportunities - a place where people come for scholarship opportunities, relocation guidance and job opportunities both at home and abroad.
With an active membership of more than 27,000 people on its Telegram platform, CareerEdu is one of the biggest relocation platforms in Nigeria. It has helped more than 1,000 young Nigerians secure UK visas in less than 2 years of operation.
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Over 27,000 members and more than 1,000 success stories
The platform was founded “by accident” in October 2020. According to its Founder, a UK-based medical practitioner, Kelvin Alaneme, CareerEdu was established as a reaction to the Nigerian government’s response to the shootings that brought the #EndSARS protest to a sudden end.
“I was angered by the government's response to the protest, and made some Facebook posts stating that anyone who wanted to relocate should contact me for free information on how to do so. For the next 48 hours, I received about 500 messages inbox and responded to all,” Kelvin told Legit.ng.
But as can be expected, responding to each of those 500 messages was very exhausting. That was when Kelvin decided he needed a WhatsApp group to broadcast his knowledge and instructions. But what he didn’t envisage was that a WhatsApp group would be too small for the traffic he was about to experience.
“The group filled up in 2 hours. But rather than create a second WhatsApp group, we decided to move to Telegram and in two days had 2,000 members. Our Telegram group has over 27,000 members now. We also have a lot of members following us on various social media platforms,” he added.
In its 22 months of operation, CareerEdu has deliberately tailored its services to helping young Nigerians succeed in their plans to relocate abroad, and because not everyone would relocate abroad, getting great jobs back home.
“In our 22 month of operation, our startup has helped over 1000 Nigerians get Visas to the UK. This is a conservative estimate we got from the poll we took on the group and the cumulative feedback we got from persons who have used our services,” the founder further noted.
How CareersEdu works
CareersEdu provides guidance for young Nigerians who wish to travel abroad to study to get study Visas (Tier-4 Visas in the UK). It also helps those relocating for work with guidance on how to get work visas (Tier 2 visas in the UK). Kelvin talks more about these classes of visas as well as why Nigerians should be exempted from IELTS in this BBC interview.
The facilitators on the CareerEdu platform share free information on the step-by-step approach to landing a Masters admission in the UK. This is more like a do-it-yourself service.
But for users who can’t do it themselves, the platform has its Premium Masters Service and the Premium PhD service which they can subscribe for. This is a done-for-you service which helps the users to directly obtain the admissions they seek.
CareersEdu also has a Care Job Pathway Service which has proven to be very effective at helping people find jobs and relocate to the UK to work as Healthcare Assistants. Through this service, the platform prepares applicants to improve their chances of landing employment by inserting them into job pools, helping them prepare for interviews and generally providing guidance till they land job offers.
“Many of our members have applied these steps, gotten UK visas and are currently in the UK. While many of them are students, a good number of the persons we have helped to relocate are those who came for work such as doctors, nurses and most recently healthcare assistants.”
Aside from the Premium Masters Service, Care Job Pathway Service and Premium PhD Service, CareerEdu also has other paid services to help serve the community like its IELTS Masterclass and its Premium Visa Application Service.
Helping prospective UK visa applicants cut cost
One of the major challenges facing the average Nigerian UK visa applicant is cost. From visa application costs to processing fees, tuition, flight fees and even accommodation, relocating abroad for study or work is Capital intensive. But CareerEdu has various programmes aimed at helping the prospective applicant to cut costs up to half.
Its Premium Masters and Premium PhD services, for instance, are designed to help applicants get very affordable schools with flexible tuition plans. This is all-so important especially for study visa applicants because it can greatly reduce the upfront costs of relocation.
“Our Premium services are super-affordable as we do not want finances to stop people from chasing their dreams. At the moment, we don't give out loans. But we have a financial product in the works that will help ease survival for students who have relocated.”
Kelvin said the company is currently in touch with some homeowners in the UK to find affordable accommodation for young Nigerians coming to the UK. This is to help provide some degree of a soft landing for them as they come.
Because sometimes, efficient planning for travelling abroad involves earning a good income back in Nigeria, CareerEdu also helps young Nigerians find gainful employment back home. It does this through its ‘Hot Naija Jobs’ section on its website.
The startup posts between 10 to 15 jobs every day from genuine vacancies sent directly to it from employers and recruiters around the country.
Aside from its Telegram group, the education technology platform also has a website. It also recently launched an app which is an extension of its website. The app is currently available only on Android with an iOS version to be launched in the near future.