In a quest to reduce the unemployment rate in Kenya, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with German Development Cooperation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa, have today launched the KAM job site, at the first-ever TVET Job Summit in Nairobi.
The site will act as a direct link between industries and job seeking technical skills graduates. It is set to host job opportunities from businesses and industries and targets job seeking graduates from technical institutions.
Speaking at the KAM Job Summit, Chief Administrative Secretary, Labour and Social Protection, Mr. Abdul Bahari noted that the mismatch between skills possessed by graduates of training institutions and those demanded by industry is one of key reasons behind the high unemployment rates in the country, especially amongst the youth.
“One way of addressing this skills mismatch is through provision of opportunities for internship and attachment to graduates and the unemployed workforce to enable them gain practical skills in their areas of training. Manufacturing is one of the pillars in the Government’s Big Four Initiative, which seeks to increase the manufacturing share of the country’s GDP from 8.4% in 2017 to 15% by 2022.Intertwined with the growth of manufacturing, is the Government’s goal of ensuring adequate employment opportunities for its citizens. Our long term goal is to improve our labour productivity by up to 50% in the next 10 years,” added Mr Bahari.
Mr Bahari also stated that the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is developing a National Internship Policy aimed at building competency by providing practical on-the-job training that integrates education, career development and work experience.
Also present at the summit, Principal Secretary Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Dr Kevit Desai reiterated the importance of the role of industry in creating opportunities for technical skills graduates, “Industry has a role to play in creating sabbatical for our trainees. We are at a time in this nation that we must look beyond technical issues, we must consider national values, cohesion, attitudinal issues and must be inculcated as a standard for international competitiveness.”
KAM Chairlady, Ms Flora Mutahi noted that the job site will provide grounds for industry to meet its much desired skills for growth. Adding that, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will change global definitions of work, labour and production and eventually disrupt traditional work processes.
“We need to revamp our educational systems to the education needed for the future workforce. Advances in technology have changed the processes of production, as more and more tasks become automated and focus shifts from manual roles. The job portal is the much needed intervention that industry desired to have direct linkage to technical skilled graduates. It is also an opportunity for business leaders and industries to collaborate with institutions to grow the employment ratio in the country,”said Ms Mutahi.
Also at the event, GIZ Country Director Mr Stephen Opitz emphasized the GIZ engagement towards the development of technical skills in the country.
“Technical education is not a fallback to failing national exams but it is fundamental on which modern economy is build on rather it is a source of personal welfare and job satisfaction. Through GIZ E4D/SOGA programme, we aim to train about 12000 youth, and purpose to place about 7000, of the trained youth, by 2019.The portal will be a valuable platform that will easily connect employers and potential talents. That is why we are partnering with KAM to make this happen,” added Mr. Opitz.
Industry remains a big contributor to jobs creation, which is a major driver for economic development. The President’s Big Four Action plan highlights the manufacturing sector as a priority sector in transforming the lives of Kenyans through job and wealth creation.