Over 1,000 youths from Kenya yesterday graduated from an innovative youth employment program dubbed Generation which was launched a year ago with the aim of providing the needed skills to the young Kenyans for them to succeed in the private sector.
The graduation that took place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre ceremony was attended by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the United States Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Sutphin.
1,600 young Kenyans have benefited from the program and an approximately 98% of them have secured jobs in three different sectors; banking and insurance sales representatives, retail store assistants and fast-moving consumer goods sales representatives.
The program which was founded by McKinsey & Company and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims at placing 80,000 young men and women into meaningful jobs by the year 2010.
When President Barack Obama visited Kenya last year this is what he said about the program
“The most urgent task facing Africa today, and for decades ahead, is creating opportunities for this next generation.”
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The graduates will be guaranteed to attend interviews of more than 60 employer partners of Generation which include; Liberty Insurance, Britam, Barclays, Java House, Bidco, Carrefour, Woolworths and Old Mutual among others.
The Generation program graduates are providing value to employers because they are less expensive to recruit, they stay in the job longer and they perform better than other entry level employees. This is why 100% of employer partners would hire Generation graduates again.
“The Generation graduates we have hired have been fantastic starting on day one of the job,” said Benson Wairegi, Britam CEO. “This is the best source of talent we have ever found for filling our entry-level jobs.”
Generation Kenya currently offers employment programs in six centres in Nairobi – Buruburu, Kangemi, Kibera, South B, Shauri Moyo, and Ruaraka– and two more have recently opened in Mombasa. Generation is a non-profit program that serves unemployed or underemployed young adults, aged 20 to 30, and works with a wide range of employer and implementation partners.
“Generation changed the way I think about both my present and my future,” said Cecilia Maina, recent graduate. “Not only can I now support my family, but I have plans to build a career in the banking industry. The future is bright!”