EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT STRUCTURAL POLICIES ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT WITHIN PUBLIC SECTOR IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF KENYA YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME
Youth bulges have become a global phenomenon and Kenya is no exception to this trend. In Kenya today, the youth bulge presents a number of challenges for both the youth and the country. In Kenya today, the youth would be considered the most abundant asset and with current trends, will continue to be key resource for some time into the future. Engaging the youth population fully in activity of mutual benefit can no longer be ignored in the country’s development agenda.
The Government of Kenya in the year 2007 developed a plan emphasizing the importance of a coordinated and multi-sectorial approach to addressing the problem of youth unemployment. In April 2009, the Kazi Kwa Vijana (KKV) was launched with the intention to employ 200,000 - 300,000 Kenyans, primarily the youth in rural and urban areas. To further strengthen the KKV programme, the government launched the Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP) in July 2010. The Kenya Youth Empowerment Program (KYEP) first component objective was to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to increase access to youth-targeted temporary employment in rural and urban areas by initiating labor–intensive public works projects implemented by different ministries.
The Kenya Youth Empowerment Program (KYEP) Component 2: Private Sector Internships and Training program (2010-2014) addressed issues raised by Kenyan employers, especially lack of skills and work experience for disadvantaged youth in Kenya. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance was the implementing partner for the programme that aimed to provide job training and internships to 10,000 youth who are aged between 15-29 years, have had a minimum of 8 years of schooling, are out of school for at least a year and are not working. The choice of internship duration as well as training type and delivery method was completely employer-driven, identifying skillset requirement and developing specific training plans. The internships were provided in the six sectors namely: Energy; Finance; Tourism; ICT; Manufacturing and MSE.
The researcher adopted a Case Study approach and examined data from various sources collected by the main participating partners of the KYEP, in order to answer the cause and effect questions.
Key Words: Government Structural policies, Youth Empowerment
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