KEPSA (The Kenya Private Sector Alliance) has announced a partnership with ABSA Bank Kenya to empower one million Kenyans with digital opportunities through their respective programs – Ajira Digital and Ready-to-Work.
Absa will provide work-readiness skills training through its existing Ready-to-Work program while KEPSA’s network will help build linkages and alliances that will enable enterprises to outsource work. The partnership will improve the impact of their programs, and address the high rate of youth unemployment.
KEPSA’s CEO Ms Kariuki noted that with at least one million Kenyans entering the job market each year, the economy hasn’t been able to provide the required number of opportunities to sustain the entrants. With such stats, it is thus important for the private sector to provide around 90% of employment – both formal and informal – to address the burden.
It is for this reason that KEPSA through the KEPSA Foundation plus with partnership of over 1,000,000 businesses from all sectors of the economy will work to equip the Kenyan youth with skills, work opportunities and also to provide the industry with a pool of skilled workers to drive the growth and competitiveness of our economy.
“This partnership provides an opportunity where youth from our ongoing interventions like the Ajira Digital project can access the much-needed employability skills as well as open up job linkage opportunities. We hope that through our various engagements and activities that we will be conducted in line with this partnership we can unlock thousands of jobs to young people in the creative industry as influencers and content creators,” remarked Kariuki.
Absa’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori reiterated the bank’s commitment to supporting Kenyan youth through the partnership with the Ajira Digital Program.
“The partnership with KEPSA through the Ajira Program that we are launching today is in line with our ongoing efforts in this critical area of youth empowerment. We hope to establish digital and technologically enabled job opportunities through this agreement, with the goal of connecting one million competent youth to these opportunities.”
Since inception, Absa’s Ready-To-Work initiative has impacted over 200,000 youth in the country to date and with a target of reaching one million by 2023. The programme, launched in 2015, provides a platform to engage Kenyan youth and help them materialize their careers through skills training and mentoring platforms from industry and marketplace experts.
“Youth empowerment, we believe, is a catalyst for positive social change in our communities and a tool that brings to light the potential that exists in every one of us. Hence, why education and skills are one of the strategic pillars of our Corporate Citizenship Strategy,” added Awori.
Under its Citizenship Agenda, Absa has also partnered with the Higher Education and Loans Board (HELB) to provide scholarship opportunities for over 500 disadvantaged students in 56 local universities.