Politics and policy
Statistics bureau to set up skills database after survey
Posted Sunday, August 19 2012 at 16:02
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) plans to set up a skills database as soon as the findings of a recent survey have been analysed.
Director of production statistics James Gatungu told a careers and mentorship conference last Friday that a national skills inventory would provide a basis for analysing the human resource capacity.
“We have already done a manpower survey and the data is currently being analysed. With that, we can get a national skills database,” Mr Gatungu told the Business Daily.
He said the data bank would act as a one-stop shop for the government, private employers and potential investors on skills are needed for different jobs by age and gender and inform interventions.
“Inventories can identify skills gaps for employees and allow employers to budget for and determine appropriate training programmes,” he said.
The African Economic Outlook, which was released last week, shows that the pace of job creation in Africa is slower than the demand, which is driven by an increasingly large number of educated youth.
The report shows that one of the biggest challenges for the youth, who make up the bulk of Africa’s workforce, is skills mismatch, inadequate labour market information, attitudes of employers and youth; and labour market regulations.
“Although there are large numbers of unemployed young people and a constantly growing labour supply, many enterprises in Africa struggle to fill open positions,” notes the report, adding that the high vacancy rates in the presence of large-scale unemployment confirms the existence of skills mismatch.
Mr Gatungu said that the database would offer secured access to employers and recruiters from government and private agencies to short-list prospective registered candidates for employment and projects and that this would help provide a justification for budgetary spending on certain skills.
“It is absolutely necessary to create a national skills databank, which will collate all available information about the supply and demand of skills variety in the country,” he said.