Optiven limited has called upon employers to equip graduate trainees with leadership skills for greater economic growth.
Optiven founder and Chief Executive Mr George Wachiuri placed this appeal during the launch of the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (K-YEEAP).
He said that Kenya has about 13.7 million youths at the moment and out of this, 5.3 million need jobs urgently.
He urged both the government and the private sector should join forces noting that the collaboration will help encourage economic development and job creation in Kenya.
Wachiuri expressed that Optiven is committed to supporting the acceleration of young Kenyan capacities through the unique academia-industry linkage.
He said that the accelerator program will pursue relevant and market-oriented skills for industry transformation by closely collaborating with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ecosystem to ensure they meet their set objectives.
“During the KEPSA forum, I had an opportunity to request the 1.7 million registered companies in Kenya to absorb into their organizations, our youth as management trainees or interns,” Wachiuri said.
Optiven recently graduated 20 youths who went through three intense months of mentorship and training through the Optiven Graduate Mentorship Program.
“We have already absorbed a good number of graduate trainees into the organisation and I was able to share the Optiven model of equipping youths with skills with over 400 CEOs who attended the KEPSA event,” Wachiuri said.
Mr Wachiuri also used the opportunity to appeal to the Kenyan government, through Deputy President H.E. Hon. Rigathi Gachagua (who presided over this event) to waive taxes on new emerging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for up to three years as long as they are providing jobs to our youth.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during the event said that the government is ready to partner with private sectors to empower the youths.
The deputy president congratulated the business community for partnering with the government as it seeks to find solutions to the country’s youth unemployment problem.
“Today I am honored to preside over the launch of the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program. The youth remain central to our government’s agenda to improve the lives of the millions of youth around the country,” said Mr Gachagua.
According to KEPSA, the Kenya Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program will leverage technology and digital transformation to increase job opportunities.
Youth unemployment in Kenya is estimated at 38.9% with an estimated 800,000 young people getting into the labor market every year from institutions of higher learning.
The program also aims to support the growth of 200,000 small businesses while catalyzing the development of 10,000 start-ups through the creation of 47 County Business Hubs