NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – About two million people have lost their jobs due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the country since the first case was announced in March this year, a new report reveals.
A report by BrighterMonday titled ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Jobs’ says the number of the unemployed has grown by 58.6 percent to 1.8 million from 961,666 during a similar period last year.
“The highest proportion of the unemployed was recorded in the age groups 20 -24 and 25-29; each registering over 20 percent,” the report released by BrighterMonday Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Mutuma said in part.
Globally, the International Labour Organization (ILO) says almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased to 72 million cases and resulted to over one million deaths.
According to the report, Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to decelerate substantially in 2020 due to the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and economic growth projection remains highly uncertain.
“The latest World Bank Kenya Economic update predicts growth of 1.5 percent in 2020 in the baseline scenario, with potential downside scenario of a contraction to 1.0 percent if COVID-19 related disruptions in economic activity last long,” the report says.
BrighterMonday Kenya started as a recruitment and job search platform but has grown into an all-encompassing career platform offering online career advice, personated Human Resources (HR) solutions for both individuals and institutions as well as training services for jobseekers.
The report says that despite a decline in hiring in some industries, there will be a surging demand for certain skills post COVID-19 as new challenges create new opportunities, and a combination of hard skills and soft skills will be needed, hence organizations need the long-term comprehensive skills framework that combines strategy and technology to empower employees to excel.
The soft skills include adaptability and agility, emotional intelligence, growth mindset and openness to learning, creativity and innovation as well as critical thinking. On the other hand hard skills include digital and coding skills, data analytics and literacy, technology skills, security and governance skills as well as problem solving-skills.
In regard to the future of work, Mutuma says that a combined group effort for both government, policy makers, and the private sector is needed to stir the future of work through job creation, transformative change, investment in digital skills and technology, investment in skills development and reliable infrastructure from Government.