The Nation Media Group (NMG) and Huawei yesterday launched a job fair that will see 10,000 Kenyans trained annually.
The fair also celebrated the digital training of 2,500 youth under the Huawei DigiTruck project over the past three years.
Bringing together the Federation of Kenya Employers and the National Employment Authority, among others, the fair initiated discussions on how employers can bridge the unemployment gap in the country as over five million youths remain jobless. Kenya’s unemployment rate stands at 5.7 per cent, higher than the 2.7 per cent East African average.
Acknowledging the significance of the initiative, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that while opportunities for employment are limited, many graduates do not have the skills required in the job market.
“This job fair is an important link between job seekers, job creators and potential employers or incubators of ideas,” said the DP.
He explained that young people need to take advantage of digital technology to benefit from more than 230 million jobs projected to be created in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of digitisation.
“These jobs will require ICT skills. An estimated $130 million investment opportunities lies in digital skills in Africa,” said Mr Gachagua.
NMG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Gitagama said the partnership aims to promote sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work.
“With an estimated 900,000 Kenyan youth entering the job market annually, the situation is not projected to improve, except with targeted efforts and initiatives from the government as well as private sector players.
“ This partnership has come to drive policy discussions on gainful employment across sectors, encourage companies, organisations and institutions to offer jobs/internships to alleviate unemployment, and to mentor, inspire and empower young talents,” he said.
Mr Gitagama added that NMG will continue to create awareness on job opportunities for the youth, as well as share information about career development and networking, and impart the skills required in the job market.
“The Nation Media Group commits to continue partnering with other like-minded institutions like Huawei, government ministries and departments and associations, with the aim of transforming the society it serves,” said Mr Gitagama.
Huawei Kenya Deputy Chief Executive Officer Steven Zhang said his company is committed to connecting Kenya, and that it will continue to contribute to the country by building digital infrastructure, digitising government and businesses, and providing jobs and internships.
“Huawei directly and indirectly employs over 102,000 people and we train several thousand each year. We are a global lead in ICT, and we commit to sharing our knowledge and building capacity amongst Kenyans … Huawei is also keen to support the President’s dream of creating a digital super highway,” said Mr Zhang.
Mr Geoffrey Kaituko, the Principal Secretary for Labour and Skills Development said that close to 1.4 million Kenyans enter the labour market every year. In 2021 alone, the total jobs created were 926,000.
“This shows that every year our economy is unable to generate adequate jobs for participants in the labour market. It is a challenge that the government has accepted and will rise to,” he said.