ICT and Engineering graduates who have been undergoing a 12-month internship program in public and private sector institutions under the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP) graduated Wednesday 11th January at the Kenya School of Government.
ICT CS Joe Mucheru and his Education counterpart Dr. Fred Matiang’i presided over the ceremony at that saw 100 graduates receive certificates. This is the second group after the first graduated last year in a program implemented through a Public and Private Sector Collaboration to build excellent talent to effectively steer ICT in the public and private sectors.
The PDTP is a government program that will run for 5 years from 2015 when it commenced. Under PDTP, identified talented ICT and Engineering Graduates go through internship programs in the private and public sectors to hone their skills. The interns are mentored by experienced professionals and experts on private sector business practices and government operations.
The Private Public Partnerships have been core to the success of the Presidential Digital Talent Program. According to Jackie Ogonji, acting chair of the PDTP Advisory Council, the private sector has responded with unprecedented enthusiasm towards the program. “The private sector has played a crucial part in the program including developing the PDTP sector specific curriculum as well as absorbing and mentoring the program graduates,” said Jackie Ogonji.
The first cohort of 100 interns graduated last year. Another Cohort of 400 were taken onboard in August 2016 while 500 graduates will be recruited into the program every year until 2020. According to Mr. Mucheru, the program is key to addressing ICT gaps in both public and private sectors.
“This program is designed to build and entrench ICT capacity within Government to ensure ICT effectiveness and efficiency in public service delivery. It is in line with Vision 2030 and the National ICT Master Plan Human Capital Pillar that seeks to address ICT skills gap in order to improve public service delivery,” said Mr. Mucheru.
Robert Mugo, acting chief executive ICT Authority said there are plans to increase the number of graduates being taken up, with 500 interns set to be recruited in 2017. Last year, the program had recruited 400 students for the internships.
“The first batch of students to go through the program were very productive and innovatively contributed towards the goals of the institutions that they were placed in. We have seen some of them already coming up with innovations and products that can solve day to day challenges, which have been informed by their experiences at the different places where they were stationed,” said Mugo.
“In addition to the hands-on experience that these graduates are getting during the internship, we are also linking them with people in the profession who can mentor them, ensuring that by the end of the program, we have well-rounded individuals.”