Youths to benefit from Sh2b US training initiative

Over 30,000 youths are set to benefit from a Sh2 billion programme aimed at unlocking opportunities for them through job market skills training.

Speaking during the launch of the programme on Wednesday at PC Kinyanjui Technical Training College in Dagoretti, Nairobi, USAID Mission Director Karen Freeman said that the amount has been committed to the initiative dubbed ‘Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES)’ for enhancing youth employability by supporting them to enrol in vocational training institutions for skills development.

“Youth who drop out of school are often forgotten in the mainstream development agenda. Their achievements are often overshadowed by their counterparts who excel in academics. This initiative is therefore targeting young people who have not completed secondary school and are aged between 18 and 35 years,” said Ms Freeman.

Ms Freeman said that the five-year programme now in its second year is targeting youths from nine counties.

She also added that they have partnered with KCB, Safaricom and 15 vocational centres in the nine counties.

On her part, K-YES programme Chief of Party Joyce Ogesi said that they are keen on exploiting the potential of informal sector that accounts for over 80 per cent of job opportunities in the country through developing a curriculum that ensures acquired skills are relevant to market demands.

“Thanks to K-YES trainings; those who dropped out of school are discovering that they still have numerous opportunities to advance in life. More youths are enrolling in vocational training centres to acquire skills like plumbing that experiences a severe shortage in the country,” said Ms Ogesi.

The programme is a successor to the previous Yes Youth Can and is present in nine counties that include Nairobi, Garissa, Kwale, Kericho, West Pokot, Kisii, Migori and Nyeri.

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