The state of unemployment in Kenya is depressing. Kenyan youth are better off securing their future through entrepreneurship rather than chase after non-existent jobs.
Statistics show that about 40,000 graduates get out of colleges each year. Less than 10% secure employment and about half are left jobless.
The recent mass job losses in various institutions and companies in Kenya show why the rate of unemployment will certainly increase in the coming years. With business opportunities available, young people should develop an interest in starting businesses as a solution to unemployment.
The value of entrepreneurship for youth cannot be underestimated. And these youths need only the right skills to get started.
A good starting point is here: the government in partnership with World Bank has launched the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP).
KYEOP aims at increasing employment and earning opportunities for youth aged between 18 and 29 years and this can also extend to 35 years through various skills training and entrepreneurship support.
The project targets those young people whose highest education level is high school, primary and those who have never been to school and are jobless or working in vulnerable jobs.
The KYEOP main components include: Life skills training (LST); These skills will equip the youth with adaptive and positive behaviour to apply in real-life situations. The skills improve self-esteem, self-awareness while equipping them with decision-making skills and interpersonal skills.
The second component is Core Business Skills Training (CBST). This stimulates trainess to generate new business ideas, business, financial and management skills. These skills emphasize the practical application of principles and proficiency-based learning. This component also details simple budgeting and business plan development techniques.
The government pays a monthly stipend to cover transport and other costs for trainess.
After going through LST and CBST training, one can opt for training and internship and eight weeks of technical skills training while undergoing three months of internship experience with a formal sector employer.
The last component is apprenticeship. This is suitable for vulnerable youth with limited education.This takes five months and the trainer will be a master craftsman certified by NITA (National Industrial Training Authority). These young entrepreneurs can also apply for Micro-Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) grants.
This project takes about six months.The government pays a monthly stipend to cover transport and other costs for trainess. Applications are recruited by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender through sub-county youth development officers.
This is a World Bank-funded project that runs up to year 2022 in partnership with the Government of Kenya.
Several opportunities exist out there and it is upon Kenyan youth to be on the watch out for important developments. Similar projects promoting youth entrepreneurship and employment include KCB 2jiajiri that runs for one year, KCB Lion’s Den and Blaze Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) by Safaricom.
Kennedy O. Alex is at Business Consultant at Premier Business Extensions Consultant and a Certified Public Accountant. Email: [email protected]