Businesses & Financial News

Group of companies target over 250,000 entrepreneurs in new drive

A consortium of private companies has launched an initiative that will seek to equip over 250,000 young entrepreneurs in Kenya with right skills to get a job or build a business.

Dubbed Africa-Working, Barclays Africa, Emerging World, Franklin Covey, Knod, Microsoft, Safal Group and Syngenta committed to empower 200,000 youth and 50,000 entrepreneurs through the programme announced yesterday that will initially be rolled out in Kenya and South Africa.

Speaking Tuesday during the launch in Nairobi, Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy said the association targets to roll out the programme across the continent by 2020 and will leverage on existing and innovative approaches to help get youth career- and business-ready, and create a pipeline of recruitable talent for member companies.

“Most large corporations are looking at youth skills development in one form or another, because it’s crucial to their business. The idea behind Africa Working is to bring these corporations together, align our efforts, share our learning and build human capital on a pan-Africa scale,” says,” he said.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a proposed Sh15billion from World Bank aimed at increasing employment opportunities among Kenya’s vulnerable youth.

The WB project is slated to start in July 2016 and is expected to focus on training and internships to improve youth employability, job creation and labour market information and policy development as major components.

On improving youth employability, the global lender has proposed an allocation of Sh7.5 billion to cater for both formal and informal sectors to scale up the Kenya Youth Employment Programme (KYEP).

Charles Reed, General Manager for Community Investment for Barclays Africa said the project will provide an opportunity to engage the youth, help them develop relevant skills and find meaningful employment opportunities.

The initial platforms will focus on YouthWorks – a Microsoft entrepreneurship platform linking youth to career guidance, internships and entry-level job opportunities, and an employability platform powered by Knod.

AfricaWorking members will use the platform to create talent pipeline and shape the skilled employees when and where they need them, through real world projects that form the basis of this innovative learning model.

“There is currently a significant mismatch between the skills youth have and the skills employers are looking for.

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