Skill-based training necessary to curb shortage of employable youth in Kenya

By Ramakrishnan Hariharan

The shortage of skilled workers in the informal sector is a growing concern for a country such as Kenya, with 77 per cent of her workforce employed in the informal sector.
It may have come as a shock to many when it was reported that a skilled welder for the SGR project could not be found.
At least half a million youth graduate from Kenyan universities annually and a majority of these do not make it to the job market owing to a lack of the skills needed for meaningful employment.

At the same time, according to a study by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, over 86 percent of Kenyan youth aged between 15 and 24 years believe that the education is the ultimate path to a successful life. Slightly below 25 per cent of the respondents cited a lack of quality education as their main challenge in life.

Only 21 percent of the respondents confessed to have college or university education, many of them for financial or other reasons, not because they lack the capability.

With such a huge demographic divide, the question remains: how can we leverage resources to fill existing gaps in the market? Kenyan youth play an integral role in our economy’s growth and can do even more.

Yet, in practice, many youths face an uphill task to participate meaningfully in a way that not only changes their lives but also has an impact on the economy.

Unlike other developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is becoming more youthful, and there has been a clear need to invest in Africa’s youth as Africa has the most youthful population and is the fastest growing region in the world.

According to a report by UNDP, by 2055 the continent’s youth population (aged 15 – 24) is expected to be more than 452 million.
In response, there has been a strong focus on technological skills that can prepare young adults for future careers that involve augmented intelligence. At the same time, there is still a need to address the existing lack of basic skills.

Source Stardard Digital

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10 ways youth can make an impact

By UNDP

“We are addressing youth today, because youth have placed themselves on the top of the agenda.”–Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon

Youth activism and engagement can bring about important social changes that are sometimes left behind. You don’t have to wait to be an adult to be an active member of your community. Your opinion matters and it should be heard. Here’s a list of ideas of how you can participate locally and globally:

1. Know your rights: You might not be able to vote yet, but all children and youth hold national and international rights. These rights are only of use to you if you are informed about them, so read up!

2. Learn about local issues: Is a roadblock affecting your commute to school? Are the new taxes affecting your family’s livelihood? Whatever the case, learning the issue will help in creating solutions that will have an impact on you.

3. Speak out: Speaking your mind online (through social media), and/or offline (at local meetings and gatherings) helps you assert yourself and your interests. Also, you never know who might be listening. Think before posting. Social media has a long memory and things can never truly be deleted.

4. Network: There are many inspiring youth like you around the world. Reach out to them. Learn about their efforts and initiatives, they might also work for you!

Start connecting with: UNDP4Youth, Thai Youth Anit-Corruption Network, Youth-IN

5. Spread the word: If elections are taking place, spread the word! Talk to friends and family about registering to vote. If there are important issues that are going unaddressed, become the person who addresses them (such as this young woman in Ireland). You are part of a community, and have the power to educate and influence those around you.

6. Join online campaigns: Is there an issue you are concerned about? Global campaigns are always happening. Find one that corresponds to your issue, join in, and implement the campaign locally.

7. Host a youth summit: Learn and share your perspectives and views with peers as well as decision-makers. Schools and local organizations can be of great support to you in trying to create a forum for the exchange of ideas. Bring together different communities and understand what you have in common, as well as your differences in interests and perspectives.

8. Use your creativity: Photography, arts and crafts, dance, theatre, sports, street art. Almost anything can be turned into an activist project. What are you good at? Translate it into civic activism!

Need inspiration? Here are some activist projects from Creative Visions (Creative Activists Network).

9. Join/create a youth organization: Local youth organizations are great places to expand your knowledge and become an active member of your society. If your community doesn’t have an organization representing youth, create one. Be the trendsetter!

10. Be an inspiration: Believe in yourself, and follow your passion. Passionate youth will change the world.

We all care about something, why not stand up for it?

Source UNDP