18,000 youth trained on critical job market skills


Youth being trained under Generation Kenya plan. PHOTO | COURTESY

More than 18,000 Kenyan youths have been trained on entry-level jobs under a programme run by Generation Kenya.

Generation Kenya Head of Business Development Lydia Karigithi said since the initiative was rolled out four years ago, 83 percent of participants have secured meaningful jobs.

“We provide young adults with the opportunity to launch successful careers and change their life trajectories and at the same time provide high quality entry-level talent for employers,” Ms Karigithi says.

The initiative aims to train and employ more than 1 million youths in five years. The programme encompasses between four and eight weeks training and it targets individuals in the 18-35 age bracket.

Ms Karigithi said they first engage with employers across various sectors on entry-level recruitments when coming up with the training programmes.

“We map out key skills and competencies that are required in a particular profession when developing curriculum, which is a combination of technical skills, soft skills and mindset,” she says.

The training involves six programmes comprising financial service sales, retail and restaurant, distributed sales, customer service, food and beverage and sewing machine operator.

The programme, Ms Karigithi noted, faces it fair share of hurdles in terms of scaling up and reaching more individuals.

“If you look at unemployment in the country, approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year and youth unemployment is considered to be as high as 35 percent of the overall national unemployment rate, which is at 10 percent,” she adds.

Moreover, she says there exists a disconnect between educational institutions and the employment sector with graduates lack critical skills needed by the job market.