The KCB Foundation has signed a partnership with the Meru County Government that will enable 400 youth to be trained under the GIZ E4D programme over a period of 24 months. Under this agreement, for every youth KCB Foundation sponsors for technical training, the government of Meru will match and sponsor a youth.
The training will be provided through KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri programme that focuses on youth skills development and job creation through enterprise development.
The deal is part of a project by the German Development Cooperation to increase the employability and income generation of 3,500 Kenyan youth in the construction sector.
Speaking at the event, KCB Foundation Acting Chief of Party Ms Caroline Wanjeri said:
“We believe in the potential of our youths, and they are the majority in our population. Unfortunately, the biggest group of unemployed people are also the youths.”
She said KCB Foundation works through 2jiajiri programme to solve the problem of unemployment by training youths and giving them skills so that they can be self-employed.
On his part, the Governor of Meru Kiraitu Murungi noted: “The problem of youths is not only that they are unemployed, but that many of them are unemployable because they lack the right skills.”
He explained that he had championed the cause of creating employment for youths by starting various initiatives including founding Mitunguu Technical Training Institute and giving opportunities for youths to undertake contracts in the county. He gave an example where Meru Level 5 Hospital was painted by youths.
The Governor also commissioned the training of 140 beneficiaries at Mitunguu Technical Training Institute under the GIZ E4D programme.
Cumulatively, the partnership between KCB Foundation and GIZ puts together KES 300 million to provide technical and vocational skills training for the next three years. The funds will also support the provision of construction toolkits to 700 youth, to enable them to establish business enterprises in the construction sector.
The partnership has been extended under the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ, and KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri Programme, that seeks to create self-employment and establish enterprises among unskilled and semi-skilled youth in Kenya.
The programme will target a total of 60% male and 40% female, with a bias towards unskilled individuals previously working in the construction sector. The youth will be trained in masonry & brickwork, carpentry & joinery, plumbing & pipe work, electrical installation and welding & metalwork.
The 2017 National Construction Authority (NCA) survey noted that there is a skills gap in the industry, with the issue being attributed to skills shortages, access to finance and inadequate availability of construction equipment such as cranes, concrete mixers and concrete pumps.
Previously, the 2jiajiri programme in partnership with E4D programme trained a total of 4,000 youth across seven counties from 2017-2019, in the subsectors of construction and agriculture. 580 youth from the construction cohort received toolkits from Bosch, under the partnership.