Retail chain Tuskys Supermarket has received 10,000 applications for 800 internship positions it had advertised for its fourth cohort, signalling the dire race for vacancies in a gloomy job market.
Out of the 10,000 applicants only 1,700 were shortlisted for interviews, which ended on Friday evening. Tuskys chief executive Dan Githua said that applications rose by 70 per cent from the previous call. More than 20 applicants had masters degrees.
The number of female applicants outnumbered their male counterparts. The programme is supported by the KCB Foundation.
“We have seen very learned people who want to be interns, meaning the problem of unemployment is still huge,” Mr Githua said in an interview. “We are also seeing a trend where many undergraduates are going straight to pursuing masters degrees with no working experience, they are also applying for a first working experience with Tuskys.”
Mr Githua said he views the trend as “a mistake” as it denies one a deserving opportunity. He said the firm’s internship initiative provides a supply of candidates to fill emerging retail management roles at the firm and beyond.
The local retail sector has continued to enjoy steady growth and is ranked the second most developed sector on the continent after South Africa.
“We cannot count ourselves as having achieved when the problem of unemployment is still rife. But we will continue playing our role,” Mr Githua said.