NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Every year one million young people join the job market in Kenya, pilling on into the ever growing unemployment and job hunting youths in the country.
The statistics never lie, as hundreds of youth were held up in long queues as they handed in their resumes during a open employment drive by a city hotel on Saturday.
Kennedy Korir was one of them and having joined the job market in 2016 upon completion of his undergraduate studies, he still remains jobless.
However, the job market can be described to have been gruesome if not frustrating for him despite his high held hopes of securing employment immediately, to prosper in life and establish himself as one of the prominent people in the country. His big dream now looks like a fairytale to be narrated in years to come.
We caught up with Korir as he was preparing for the interview and although he was discouraged by the long queues, he projected a picture of hope.
“I have never been employed since I completed my degree course in Information Technology (IT) and Business Information. I have attended very many interviews with no success and am afraid my career path is on an attachment and internship trail after undertaking a lot of internship programs,” Korir said.
Now a masters student, Korir said the only option left for him was to further his academic with anticipation of securing employment afterwards.
“I was jobless and out of sorts and the only thing that was in my head was to study further. I made up my mind and enrolled for a Masters Program in IT with hopes by the time I am done I will be sorted out job wise,” he said.
According to survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2018, 7million Kenyans were unemployed with 1.4 million out of this figure desperately looking for jobs.
Attending the same interview was Tony Gachie, who is still jobless despite having more than four years experience in the baking industry.
Gachie is still surprised how many years of experience one requires to secure employment in Kenyan job market.
“I worked for four years in one of the biggest supermarkets in Kenya before its collapse late last year. After that I got employed on a short term contract working in the same capacity.”
“So I can say I have close to five years in the baking industry. I am still surprised what I have to do to escape my situation because I have the experience, skills and my academic credentials are okay, I am really confused,” he said.
Faith Mutuku story is different though. Having been actively engaged in the tourism sector in the country she now wants to change her career path to the desired level.
KNBS survey 2018 indicated that, in 2016, there were about 25 million Kenyans in the working-age bracket of between 15 and 64 years. Out of these, 78 per cent were economically active.
The survey further indicate that 3.7 million of the employed persons in the working age population were under employed, meaning they were available to work for more hours but were not given the opportunity.
“I would really like to switch my career to the hospitality industry. Although what am doing is related, I still want to switch careers and maybe know more on what the industry has to offer,” Mutuku explained.
The ever question in everyone mind is what needs to be done to save the country’s jobless and the ever job hunting youths.