Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population, according to the United Nations Data. In Africa alone, and according to a report by UNDP, by 2055 the continent’s youth population (aged 15 – 24) is expected to be more than 452 million. Closer home, here in Kenya, the country’s ratio of youth (15-24) to the population stands at 20.3 per cent, above the world’s average of 15.8 per cent and 19.2 per cent for Africa. The millennials add up to 10.1 million out of Kenya’s population of 49.7 million, data from US-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB) shows.
Given the statistics, youths the world over, are an integral part of our society that we cannot afford to ignore. Active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.
However, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. In fact, most Kenyan youths, especially graduates, are locked out of employment by the biggest elephant in the youth unemployment room, relevant experience. Cognizant of this predicament, Optiven Group introduced a 360° mentorship program which is far much better than the usual internship, and which is aimed at helping hundreds of Kenyan youths to become more employable.
The Group has been offering 50 mentorship opportunities to young graduates every year, starting in the year 2019. “We need to open our doors wider and allow these intelligent graduates to practice what they have learnt in the universities, albeit for short but fulfilling dispensation of time, say three months or more,” says George Wachiuri, Optiven Group CEO.
This program allows graduates to join the area of their training, say: Human Resource, ICT, Accounts, Admin, Records, Sales and Marketing. “Those who get into this program get a guaranteed Mentorship opportunity that is tailor-made to make sure that the young people are molded not just to fit into their careers of choice, but to be thinkers who can take this country to the next level,” noted Wachiuri.
He adds that by the time the graduates finish the program, they get a certificate from one of the most forerunner organizations, Optiven Group. This will give them an upper hand in getting a job or starting their own start up business. “As SMEs and Corporate, we also believe that more collaboration with central and local governments is imperative, and order to take up this game to the next level, we also urge the National and county governments to seriously work on policies that will help towards better apprenticeship and mentorship of our huge number of youths, who constitute over 50% of our Kenyan population,” says the CEO.
And of course there is no reason why such youth friendly policies cannot be easily replicated by the entire African continent.
Contact Optiven Group:
Tel: 0790 300300