Kenyan youth are set to easily access information on available job opportunities and entrepreneurship.
This follows the introduction of an online portal called TukoWorks by Microsoft Corporation and Homeboyz Foundation. The website aims to provide Kenyan youth with free resources, training, career guidance services and entrepreneurial opportunities through a network of accessible tools and content on various opportunities in addition to skills and enterprise development resources.
According to Microsoft Kenya Country Manager Kunle Awosika, “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,” he concluded.
Kenya is the second country after Nigeria which has developed YouthWorks in sub-Saharan Africa, a program that Microsoft Corporation hopes to roll out in 19 countries across Africa and Middle East. The 2012 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report highlights the fast but unemployment growth pattern on the continent: 200 million young people aged between 15 and 24, representing 60 percent of the total population and 45 percent of the labour force. This presents an enormous potential to transform Africa’s developing economies into the leading source of talent in the global market.
With youth unemployment continuing to be a problem in many African countries, Kunle said that individuals, governments and the private sector should play a collective role in creating jobs.
Speaking during the launch, Homeboyz Foundation Chairman Myke Rabar said, “Many young people have little or no skills and are therefore largely excluded from productive economic and social life. Those that have some education often exhibit skills irrelevant to current demand in the labour market. Leading to a situation where educational and skill requirements are increasing and thus, resulting in millions of unemployed and underemployed youth”.
“Our work with Microsoft, centered on entrepreneurship and employability skill enhancement, stems from The Homeboyz Foundation’s mandate which is to empower young people to develop their abilities and enrich their capabilities so that they can reach their fullest potential,” he said.
Just over a year ago, Microsoft launched the 4Afrika Initiative focusing on the Youth and SMEs to accelerate African innovation by Africans for the continent and the world. The initiative brings, world-class skills and capacity building and affordable access to technology. “These three things can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness and empowering the youth to turn their ideas into a reality. I’m looking forward to seeing TukoWorks in collaboration with local partners and social enterprise organizations, compliment this goal,” Kunle said.
To check out information on 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.
Commenting on the launch of the new portal, AIESEC – University of Nairobi Chapter member Ruthie Ndung’u said, “I remember needing a teacher of 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.”
The portal features career guidance tools, job matching, mentoring and volunteering matching among others cool features.