KCB Bank Foundation has partnered with German Development Cooperation in a new initiative to equip youth in the construction sector with digital skills.
The 300 million shillings technical and vocational skills training is meant to benefit 3500 youth in the next 3 years. It will also see the funding of construction kits to 700 youth in the sector boosting their employability and ability to start their own construction businesses.
This program is under the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) initiative. E4D was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is executed by 2 organizations in Kenya: GIZ and KCB Foundation’s 2jiajiri program whose main aim is to create self-employment and start enterprises among semi-skilled and unskilled youth in Kenya.
According to KCB’s CEO and Managing Director, this partnership aligns with the company’s shared value approach that champions for businesses to solve societal challenges, anchoring the foundation programs.
“The shock to the economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected small businesses setting back the country’s job creation efforts for the youth. We are looking at sustainable solutions to remedy the situation, as such this project will upskill the youth in the construction sector, which has demonstrated significant job creation potential based on industry trends.” Joshua Oigara, KCB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
According to Thomas Jaeschke, GIZ’s E4D Kenya team leader, this partnership aims to promote employment as it focuses on training in courses that are in line with technical skills that are demand-driven.
“We achieve this through an integrated approach that includes upskilling to make small and medium-sized businesses more competitive, so they can meet the growing demand for supplies and services in the market. Ultimately, our goal is to generate more decent and sustainable employment in East Africa.” Jaeschke.
A 2017 survey by the National Construction Authority (NCA) showed there is a skills gap in the construction industry. The gap is tied to skills lacks, challenges accessing finances and inadequate availability of construction equipment such as concrete mixers, concrete pumps and cranes.
The program’s target is 60% male and 40% female with a main priority of recruiting unskilled youth who have worked in the construction sector. The training will be focused on masonry and brickwork, carpentry and joinery, plumbing and pipework, electrical installation and welding and metalwork.
The 2jiajiri program had previously trained 4,000 youth from 2017-2019 in 7 counties in partnership with E4D program focusing on construction and agriculture. At the end of the training, 580 youth trainees from the construction cohort received Bosch toolkits.
2jiajiri was launched in 2016 and focuses on growing youth based micro-businesses in the informal sector and scaling them to employ at least 5 other youth. This is with a goal of creating 250,000 jobs in 5 years.
By 2020, the program had trained 36,706 youth across the country in five trades: 19,080 in agribusiness, 9,910 in building and construction, 2,083 in automotive engineering, 3,430 in beauty and personal care, 1,638 in domestic services, and 515 in information and communication technology.