NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Securing an employment in a formal sector is
every varsity graduate’s dream.
However, this dream
is quickly dashed away by Kenyan employers who are reluctant to
absorb graduates into the job market on claims of lack of job
According to the
employers, they are either forced to bear the costs of taking
the fresh graduates for a short training course to sharpen their
skills before employing them or hire them on contractual terms.
In its latest
survey, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) revealed that 70
percent of entry-level recruits require a refresher course in
order to start to deliver in their new jobs.
This makes the
graduates take even longer than expected to become productive,
nearly doubling staff costs in a majority of organizations.
The FKE survey
further revealed that over 90 percent of Kenyan job seekers have
more qualifications than are required for entry-level jobs, a
situation that is being driven by an oversupply of university
According to a
survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)
released in March, 7 million Kenyans are unemployed.
Out of these, 1.4
million have been desperately looking for work. The rest have
given up on job hunting, with some opting to go back for further
The survey paints a
grim picture of the country’s unemployment levels, while
shattering the 40 percent unemployment rate myth.
The survey also
revealed that up to 19.5 million Kenyans are active in the
labour force, majority of them in low-cadre, poor-paying jobs.
Even so, the
unemployment crisis may soon be thing of the past with President
Uhuru Kenyatta stepping in to alleviate the pain and agony
Kenyan graduates seeking jobs solutions.
The signing of the
bill creating a state agency tasked with facilitating youth
employment into law in April 2016 led to the establishment of
the National Youth Employment Authority (NEA).
The mandate of NEA
mainly provides for a comprehensive institutional framework for
employment management; enhancement of employment promotion
interventions; and increasing access to employment by the youth,
minorities and marginalized groups and for connected purposes.
Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled a one year long paid internship program
for university and technical institute graduates.
head of state directed all public institutions to implement the
paid internship or paid apprenticeship.
public institutions are implementing the program. This financial
year 2018/2019, most public institutions have allocated budgets
for the paid internship program.
The program aims at
providing the youth with an opportunity for the job experience
to build upon skills learnt at school and for professional
development hence, enhance their employability.
internship program, or paid apprenticeships, has seen graduates
from universities and technical institutes absorbed by
government and the private sector for a period of 12 to utmost
government institutions have advertised for internship
opportunities in their organizations with a stipend of 250 U.S.
Some of the
organizations that have absorbed the graduates on paid
apprenticeships include National Authority for the Campaign
against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada), Kenya National
Accreditation Services (Kenas), Commission for University
Education, Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), Kenya Revenue
Authority, Kenya Rural Roads Urban Authority (KURRA) and many
A spot check showed
that most of the organizations hire approximately 15 interns in
The state agencies
are required to advertise the job through their websites and
media platforms thereafter an interview is conducted and the
candidates shortlisted for the job.
candidates are absorbed into various departments and are paid a
stipend of 250 dollars per month.
Ann Wambui, a
beneficiary of the paid internship and a graduate of University
of Nairobi said she is thankful to the President for the
gives us (graduates), offers chance not only to gain hands on
experience but stand a higher chance of getting a position in
the future,” says Wambui, who is on a six month paid internship
program at one of the government agencies.
According to recent
data from the Commission for University Education (CUE), about
143,262 students have graduated in the last four years.
Cliff Otieno says, the paid internship program not only empower
young graduates financially but also gives them platform to
practice what they learnt in school.
“It gives us hope
and value for the money our parents spent in university to
ensure we acquire professional skills, I’m thankful to the
President,” he said.