Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has requested employers in public and private sector to scrap work experience requirements for first-time job seekers who are mostly youths.
Kabogo argues that Kenya’s population is made of educated, vibrant and visionary youths who are ready to drive the economy to greater heights if presented with job opportunities by the society.
“Where do you expect these graduates with no experience to get experience from if you are not ready to present or create for them job opportunities? Our youths are educated and they should not be discriminated nor denied job opportunities just because they don’t have experience, after all, internships provide them the requisite skills,” he said.
He argues that for youths to be absorbed without experience, a model should be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields adding that all that Kenyans want is to streamline career paths and align skills.
Kabogo described the high rate of youth unemployment as a ticking bomb, with frustrated educated young men and women susceptible to drugs, prostitution, or even being lured into terrorism.
Recent data from the Ministry of Education indicate that of the 1 million young people entering the job market from universities and colleges every year, only one out of five is likely to get a job in the formal sector.
Youth unemployment in Kenya has risen to 22.2 percent, significantly higher than in neighboring Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. Youth unemployment threatens Kenya’s role as a regional powerhouse in the east African countries.
In 2018, South Africa scraped work experience requirement for first-time job seekers in an effort to reduce unemployment and crime incidences.
New graduates entering the job market will no longer be required to have work experience for an entry-level government job starting from April 2019. With the country battling high levels of unemployment, South Africa Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo was quoted noting that the new plan aimed at tackling youth joblessness.
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