The big job market news of April is, of course, the release of the Economic Survey 2015 last week which revealed that formal job creation was lower in the 2014 as compared to 2013. This is the first contraction in job creation in the last five years. The Kenyan economy only created 103,000 new formal jobs as compared to the number of graduates who joined the job market: 400,000. This, however, does not mean that 300,000 graduates will miss out on jobs.
First, jobs open up in the economy when older workers retire or workers are lost (sadly). Second, the economy also produced 696,700 informal jobs. Third, as we pointed out on this column some weeks ago, Kenya’s projected economic growth rate for makes it one of the best job markets in the world this year.
Our take on the statistics: someone is going to get the job you want; what will it take to make that person you? This week we explore new and soon-to-emerge opportunities you could be pursuing, in 5 industries.
1. BUSINESS SERVICES
Business of Making Business Comfortable: Atlas Development, a UK-based logistics firm with its Africa headquarters is planning to expand through acquisitions across Africa by the end of the year. They serve major upstream oil companies like Tullow and Africa oil by providing logistics, storage, medical facilities to staff, fuel distribution, fleet maintenance, catering and laundry services as well as risk management. That’s a lot of potential jobs as they grow their presence in Africa.
PR Heats Up: a new PR firm is in town. Take out those dusty PR and communications degrees/diplomas. Grayling, a UK firm, is opening shop after winning a large contract with the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism. Current staff size is at 12, 70 per cent Kenya and the plan is to expand their workforce. They will serve UK-based companies seeking to enter East Africa.
Advisory and Consulting: while these industries receive little attention due to their confidential nature, there are indications that they are in a boom in Kenya. Several companies including Co-operative Bank and ARM are known to have brought in consultants to advice on restructuring. At the NSE, there is marked growth in cash holdings by listed firms, signs of aggressive regional expansion to come (companies include Equity, KCB, KenGen, Cooperative Bank, Barclays, Bamburi, Stan Chart among others). Finally, Kenya is reported to have taken the largest share of mergers and acquisitions fees in 2014 as compared to other countries in the region. All these companies need and will continue to need advisory and consulting services. If you have an accounting, finance, business management, economics or strategy background, investigate the various consulting and advisory firms, big and small, in town. JMG Strategy Consultants, for example, will be bagging a large portion of the Kshs 183m set aside by the Nairobi City County to change its public image in 2015/16