Some 2,500 young Kenyans on Friday graduated from a youth education-to-employment programme – “Generation Kenya – supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the McKinsey Social Initiative. The programme provides technical and professional skills training to address youth unemployment in Kenya. Of those who graduated, 95 percent have received job offers in financial services, customer service and sales. The graduation ceremonies were held concurrently in Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru and Nanyuki.
A recent World Bank study reports Kenya’s youth unemployment rate at 17.3 percent – among the highest in the region. “The special part about this programme is that it’s not an empty promise to the youth of Kenya. We are identifying gaps in the job market upfront, working with businesses to create relevant training and setting up these hard-working young Kenyans for success,” USAID’s Education and Youth Office Chief Wick Powers said.
The youth training and employment programme works with more than 100 companies in Kenya, where most graduates are employed after successful completion of the interview process. These partners include Britam, Barclays, Java House, Bidco, Carrefour, Woolworths and Old Mutual. Employers benefit from lower recruitment and training costs, as well as the easier onboarding of high-performing recruits.
“The agents are well trained and prepared to handle the tough financial sales jobs in the insurance industry. We have seen fruits two weeks after we engaged them.” – CIC Insurance Branch Manager, Nakuru. The programme has graduated 4,000 young people since its inception in 2014 and aims to connect an additional 46,000 with skills and jobs by the end of 2019.