One million youth are set to benefit from a training that will equip them with digital skills which can be outsourced by companies in Kenya.

The collaboration between the ICT ministry, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and Absa Bank Kenya will provide the youth with digital skills as part of the Ajira Digital and Ready-To-Work programmes.

ICT Administration Secretary, Lucy Mulili, lauded the initiative saying it will go a long way in enhancing the employability of the youth by equipping them with the digital skills required to access online jobs.

The government through the AJIRA Digital programme seeks to position Kenya as a choice labor destination and a Business Process Outsourcing Hub for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and the Public Sector to create Digital Work.

“Our mission is to enable one million of our youth to earn a decent wage from digital and digitally enabled jobs annually. We do this by promoting partnerships with the private sector growing the platform, the economy as well as creating avenues for training, mentorship and networking. We seek o raise online work profile Kenya and make Kenya the number one destination for digital workers globally,” said Mulili.

Over 60,000 youth have been trained under the Ajira Digital programme across the country since its inception five years ago, joining the millions of Kenyans making a living from online jobs.

While Absa Bank Kenya will provide funding for digital training, KEPSA will build linkages and alliances that will enable enterprises to outsource work from beneficiaries of the programmes.

“This partnership provides an opportunity where youth from our ongoing interventions like the Ajira Digital project can access the much-needed employability skills as well as open up job linkage opportunities. We hope that through our various engagements and activities that we will be conducted in line with this partnership we can unlock thousands of jobs to young people in the creative industry as influencers and content creators,” said Carole Kariuki, KEPSA chief executive.

Beneficiaries are to acquire soft digital skills including data entry, transcription and online marketing among others under the initiative aimed at easing access to online jobs for the youth.

“Youth empowerment, we believe, is a catalyst for positive social change in our communities and a tool that brings to light the potential that exists in every one of us. Hence, why education and skills are one of the strategic pillars of our Corporate Citizenship Strategy,” added Jeremy Awori, Absa Managing Director.

The Ajira and Ready-to-Work programmes also targets start-ups and professionals keen on increasing their digital skills.

ICT Administration Secretary, Lucy Mulili, has urged the private sector to invest more in ICT capacity building especially among the youth to tackle unemployment.

Since inception, Absa’s Ready-To-Work initiative has impacted over 200,000 youth in the country to date and with a target of reaching one million by 2023.

By Fred Azelwa.