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