The level of unemployment for the youth is expected to go down with the implementation of the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project by the government.
The project is being implemented by the Youth ministry with support from the World Bank. It seeks to increase employment and earning opportunities for more than 280,000 youth in Kenya within a five-year project period.
The target group of beneficiaries consists of youth between 18 and 29 years who have education levels that are up to Form 4 or below, and are unemployed, under-employed or vulnerable.
The first cycle of KYEOP is currently being carried out in five counties: Kisumu, Nakuru, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kwale. “The total number of youth randomised to participate in the first cycle was 3,088 from all the five counties,” KYEOP adviser Eric Wanjohi said.
Youth from other counties will be incorporated into the project in the subsequent second and third cycles.
The core interventions for KYEOP include provision of youth with life skills, core business skills, and job-specific skill, training and work experience (internship) in the formal sector. “We do this with the hope that those who prove their worth in such sectors will be absorbed and given jobs,” Wanjohi said.
Those who are willing and ready to jump into business are given start-up grants and business development services. “We ask for proposals after which, when satisfied we disperse part of the funds and monitor the business for six months, then give the rest in bits if the business has potential. This is to ensure people don’t just collect cash and take off,” Wanjohi said.
Successful applicants for the training programme attend life skills training for two weeks and core business skills training for two weeks, which is facilitated by the Youth ministry in partnership with training service providers in each county of implementation.
Upon successful completion of skills training, participants proceed to attend formal or informal training, which is facilitated by the National Industrial Training Authority.
During the period of study, participants receive a monthly stipend of Sh 6,000 that caters for expenses such as transport. Adequate arrangements are made to accommodate participants who have special requirements at each training venue, such as the physically challenged nursing mothers.
Training options include metal fabrication, motor vehicle mechanics, occupational therapy, pastry baking, building and construction , carpentry and joinery.
Other options include catering/food and beverage, chemical production, electronics , event planning and management , fashion and design, food processing , hairdressing and beauty, hand craft, ICT and interior design.
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