Govt. launches Sh15bn program to boost youth employment


Govt. launches Sh15bn program to boost youth employment

The government is targeting at least 280,000 youths over the next four years through the Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) to provide training and work experience.

The project is being financed by the World Bank to the tune of Sh15 billion.

Youth unemployment has remained a headache for present and past governments with no real lasting solution at tackling it.

However with the backing of the World Bank, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the government appears to have found a lasting solution at equipping the thousands unemployed youth gain skills that position them for the job market.

“The objective is to increase employment and earnings opportunities for the Kenyan youth and harness the demographic dividends of this energetic and dynamic population,” Ms Kariuki said on Tuesday.

Through KYEOP, it is expected that the youth who successfully complete the program will either get employed, start their own business or expand their existing businesses and hence create job opportunities.

“We are looking at calling up the youths whose skills are not lending themselves easily into the job market so we are looking particularly at young people who have gone through form four,” she said.

The program aims to create a dynamic shift in the thinking in society that only white collar jobs provide a conduit for success.

The message seems to resonate with that of Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who challenged university students to take course that can enable them start their own businesses.

“Where do we create wealth, is it in the formal or informal sector? We need to have an attitude change of wealth creation as opposed to taking on white collar jobs. The project is one that will not necessarily lead you to a white collar job market but our desire is to get as many of them self employed so that they can employ others,” Ms Kariuki stressed.

Out of the Sh15 billion, Sh7.5 billion will be used in training and work experience program while Sh4.15 billion will go towards job creation.

To improve the Labor Market Information System, Sh1.35 billion will be used while a further Sh2 billion will go towards strengthening youth policy development.

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Story By Mumbi Warui
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