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Education CS: A million jobs annually will tackle unemployment

Kenya needs to generate a million jobs annually in the next 10 years to cater for the burgeoning youth population, Education Cabinet Secretary has said.

“At present, one million young people enter the labour market every year. It is estimated that of these new entrants, only one in five is likely to find a job in the formal sector,” she said.

CS Amina made the remarks at Taifa Hall, University of Nairobi recently when she launched the Office of Career Services to be established in all institutions of higher learning starting this month. She was accompanied by Post Training and Skills Development Principal Secretary Zainab Hussein.

CS Amina said the Office of Career Services will strengthen and improve the quality of student training and enhance their chances of success in the workplace. She said various studies have cited the disconnect between education and labour market needs as a key driver of high unemployment. This, she said has been corroborated by employers who have cited the lack of technical skills, experience, and job readiness among graduates.

Access to information
She said addressing the skills mismatch between education and labour market will enhance access to information and guide institutions and students on career opportunities. “The final step involves the development, strengthening as well as monitoring and evaluation of youth employment policy,” she stated.

The Office of Career services will partner with other organisations to serve as the intersection between skills, employment, market knowledge, innovation, industry and government.

It will also partner with industry players to provide internship, apprenticeship, training and job opportunities for students .

“This office is expected to ensure a seamless transition from learning to earning by ensuring young graduates leave our institutions of learning well equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that make them attractive to the labour market,” she said.

Amina said unemployment has led to questions regarding the quality of graduates being churned out of educational institutions. She said Kenya was witnessing youth bulge and that some projections estimate that the population will reach 65 million by 2030 and 85 million in 2050 – majority of them young people. The economy generated 897,000 new jobs last year compared to 832,900 new jobs created in 2016. The informal sector accounted for most of the new jobs, generating 747,000 jobs. This was however lower than the 747,300 new informal sector jobs created in 2016

Read more: Standard Digital