With unemployment rates hitting 40 per cent, any help in job sourcing provides great relief to the youth.
A local entertainment company, Homeboyz, through its foundation, has teamed up with Microsoft Corporation to set up an online jobs portal, TukoWorks, to provide the youth with free training as well as connect them with potential employment opportunities.
“The introduction of the portal was necessitated by the need to bridge the information gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and school leavers by providing a network of accessible opportunities on various openings as well as necessary training on how to start a new enterprise,” Microsoft Kenya Country Manager Kunle Awosika said.
“Our aim is to match the right skills to appropriate jobs, equip youth with the necessary training, tools and knowledge required to succeed in their desired jobs.”
The introduction of the portal was necessitated by the need to bridge the information gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and school leavers by providing a network of accessible opportunities on various openings as well as necessary training on how to start a new enterprise. We hope that the TukoWorks portal will become a national authority on employability and entrepreneurship that will bridge the gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and the young people of Kenya. Our aim is to match the right skills to appropriate jobs, equip youth with the necessary training, tools and knowledge required to succeed in their desired job”
Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager
The 2012 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report highlights rapid unemployment growth on the continent. Up to 200 million young people aged between 15 and 24, representing 60 per cent of the total population and 45 per cent of the labour force, are unemployed.
Homeboyz Foundation chairman Myke Rabar noted that the unemployment crisis had worsened because education institutions were churning out graduates with no marketable skills. “Many young people have little or no skills and are, therefore, largely excluded from productive economic and social life. This leads to a situation where skills requirement is increasing, resulting in millions of unemployed and underemployed youths,” said Rabar.
Ruthie Ndung’u, a member of AIESEC University of Nairobi Chapter, said products such as TukoWorks will come in handy in connecting the labour force with employers around the world.
“I remember needing a teacher in entrepreneurship but never got to have one. TukoWorks grants not only me but other young people this opportunity. Its interactive nature and user friendliness made me excited about my capabilities as a young person,” said Ms Ndungu.
On the platform is a series of courses which one can take, do exams and earn certificates. The portal also allows employers to create accounts, on which they can advertise vacancies in their companies.
The Microsoft Corporation hopes to roll out similar products in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East.
To use the portal, users will be required to do a one-off sign up at no cost at www.tukoworks.co.ke which can be accessed from computers, tablets and mobile phones.
The main features of the portal include the following:
- Career guidance tools: These assessments will support youth in their self-awareness to identify the skills they need to develop to be successful in their careers, and will help link them to the appropriate career advisors, training and opportunities.
- Job matching: Job, internship, and volunteer postings easily automated online, with job preparation resources on CV and cover letter writing, interviews, and workers’ rights and responsibilities.
- Extensive training options: For different skills, customized to specific target groups and jobs, and in categories such as IT skills, soft skills, entrepreneurial skills, and language skills.
- Mentoring and volunteering matching: Leveraging various alumni networks and corporate, non-corporate and individual support.
- Social media integration: Capturing real-time feedback of young leaders and job seekers, as well as employers, which can identify training gaps compared to requirements