ZETECH joins national employability campaign to ready students for the market
In an effort to increase employability among students and graduates and equip them for market place, Zetech University has collaborated with Standard Chartered Bank Kenya in an Employable Youth Programme, under the Future Makers programne.
The initiative is designed to help bridge the gap between young graduates and the work environment through a series of work readiness and technical training schemes. According to online reports, in the second quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate among young people between 20 and 24 years in Kenya increased to 22.8 percent. In the quarter before (Q1 2020), 8.6 percent of this age group were unemployed.
In partnership with Light for The World and through the Bank’s through InBusiness Initiative in the country, the one-year pilot programme undertaken at a cost of Sh8 million, will focus on building employability capacity among 4,500 University students in five Universities: Zetech University, Kenyatta University, USIU, JKUAT, and Multi-Media University.
Through the programme, lauded by Zetech VC Prof. Njenga Munene for its focus on preparing young people for the market, seeks to: provide work readiness training to students, reach 300 young people with disabilities spread across the 5 academic institutions, provide 100 internships to the work ready students with disabilities as well as host employability drill days with private sector employers to train, coach, and mentor students on career guidance.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, marked during this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Standard Chartered Bank CEO Mr. Kariuki Ngari said, “We live in a highly competitive and dynamic world where the work skills required are continuously shifting and the youth are finding it difficult to match what they learn in class with what is needed in the job market. As such, this programme intends to prepare our university graduates through initiatives such as relationships and people management skills, financial literacy and money management, mapping out employment opportunities as well as trends in employment space.” Mr. Kariuki said. He added that young people must be taught soft skills to complement the technical skills they acquire in campus.
According to Zetech VC Prof. Munene, Zetech is proud to be part of the transformative programme noting that the University has invested in various initiatives to prepare graduates for the industry. “Our approach to learning and development is informed by the needs of our learners, ensuring that the content we provide is relevant, current and engaging. It is also informed by the demands of the industry, causing us to challenge ourselves regularly and finding innovative ways to train our students to thrive in today’s marketplace.” He said, adding that research and continued collaboration are sure ways of working with the private and public sector to build capacity among the youth.
The event saw the University Student Affairs office organise for 10 students and five faculty members to attend the forum, with student leaders such as David Theuri, who is undertaking a course in ICT, noting that the initiative is timely and critical in readying students for the industry. He said, “I’m honoured to have been among the studnets who attended the launch to listen in on what we can expect from this programme. I am glad my University is part of this an I look forward to the trainings.”
With the realization of the serious shortfall in the relevant skills gap, the programme will also deliver career days in the five institutions with companies called upon to mentor and share their process of recruitment with students. This is an addition to online and physical career forums Zetech organizes every week to build capacity among learners.