Microsoft in partnership with I Choose Life – Africa (ICL) and the County Government of Nakuru through the Directorate of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs hosted a YouthSpark Live event at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru to help solve youth unemployment.
The event is part of global measures aimed at helping the youth address their employability challenges, explore careers in technology and entrepreneurship skills to enable them plan for their future, create, build and grow profitable businesses.
The event dabbed YouthSpark Live will create an avenue for nurturing over 1000 young business minds by linking them with experienced mentors entrepreneurs from 50 participating companies.
The forum provides a pitching opportunities to those with investment ideas for a chance to secure funding and receive financial advice from partners including, KCB Foundation -‘Tujiajiri’ project , Youth Enterprise Development Fund, the Uwezo and Women Fund initiatives.
The CEO of ICL Eng. Mike Mutungi said the #YouthSparkLive Nakuru County chapter seeks to address the huge gap between the youths and corporates in the county. “We intend to realise this by bringing together prospective employers and investors in an informal set up for information exchange on available opportunities and map the prerequisite skills needed for these positions. This will go a long way in positioning young people for jobs opportunities.”
Mr. Mutungi noted that without the ability to attain basic skills that match the demands of the labour market, many youths are unable to find employment. There is need to raise the standards of our polytechnics to meet the demand for labour and skills to attain the set GDP targets in Vision 2030”
Unemployment rates continue to widen in the country, leaving the youths to settle for temporary and unsafe low-paying jobs. Experts argue that there is need to modernise the current education system and incorporate programs that cater for the 21st century workforce.
Kunle Awosika, General Manager Microsoft Kenya noted that “YouthSpark Live is a Microsoft initiative activated through partners to provide an opportunity to engage with youth and discuss development opportunities. As Microsoft, we draw on the strengths of our partners like ICL, the County Government and other like-minded orgarnizations to reach the youth and educate them on how to tap into technology to achieve more.”
“One need not wait to be employed, with basic computer skills young people can take up online work or create businesses and employ others.” Awosika added.
H.E. the Governor of Nakuru County Hon. Kinuthia Mbugua applauded the initiative and noted that the initiative will offer the County an opportunity to collect primary data on youth unemployment issues and advice in future policies aimed at addressing the situation.
Microsoft and ICL are currently offering a free platform: www.tukoworks.co.ke for job seekers and employers to increase flow of information on available jobs and career counselling services.