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How lack of problem solving skills is hurting Kenyan graduates

By Jacob Ng'etich | Published Wed, June 13th 2018 at 13:43, Updated June 14th 2018 at 11:02 GMT +3

Founder and director of Rise and Learn and President of the International Coach Federation (ICF) Kenya Chapter Ms Kamunde- Osoro. She highlighted the competencies graduates need to have to hack the job market demands. [File, Standard]

Lack of training on critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills in the Kenyan education is hurting graduates as they get into the job market Human Resource officials have said.

The officials said that the country had concentrated more on traditional education of imparting the technical knowledge and in return failed to take in stock the survival skills in the work place.

Speaking in an interview on Ktn Television, they insisted that there was need to graduates were taken through the during their schooling period to produce wholesome people ready to serve the nation in whatever capacity.

“Today, the work place has changed, there are three critical competencies that insightful thinking, emotional intelligence and creativity that are needed in the work place so as to exhaust high productivity in the work place,” said Emily Kamunde President of the International Coach Federation (ICF) Kenya Chapter and Director of Rise & Learn Limited, a Human Resource Consulting Firm.

Ms Kamunde- Osoro said that employers absorbing their employees were going through their competencies on the soft skills much more as a priority unlike in the past.

The founder member of Rise & Learn a Local Partner for Erickson Coaching International, said that the lack of capacity had shown itself in the graduates inability to market themselves.  

“Many graduates today were finding it difficult to even their write curriculum vitae or audibly explain themselves, and the school system was partly to blame. We hope the ongoing curriculum change will address this issues,” said Ms Kamunde- Osoro.  

According to Jussi Hinkkanen Chief Executive officer, Fuzu Limited, a Pan-African recruiting company working with several local companies said a HR report in Kenya had indicated that fifty percent of those employed the skills that were hands on.

“There is a huge gap between professional skills and emotional intelligence and the disconnect between the two has had an impact of the work environment,” said Hinkkanen.

He explained that soft skills in today's world was the biggest requirement by employers because it influenced how one plans including their days and hours at work, efficiency and how they collaborate with other employees.

“In Finland most of the graduates' lives are spend on training and internship and this helps those out of school to be completely hands on,” he said.

Based on the inadequacies, Rise and Learn is organising an East African  HR Symposium 4th to 6th July 2018 in Naivasha that will enable participants interact with prominent key note speaker - Dave Ulrich, known as the “father of modern HR”.

The symposium that seeks to have Human Resource officials, employers and firms involved in recruitment will focus on three key themes that include future of work and technology, evolving with business and building the future.

Ms Kamunde- Osoro said that the Symposium was designed to empower HR professionals and business leaders to cope with, understand and innovate their organization in a workplace that is rapidly changing due to technological advances.

“The symposium will provide an interactive platform for HR professionals and practicing managers to share their views, research findings, industry practices and critique of contemporary issues.

She said a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) released last year had shown that 52 percent of Kenyan jobs are subject to automation.

“Whereas automation will speed up industrialisation and economic growth, we need to start training people about this realities, this are some of the issues we will be looking at in our symposium next month,” she said.


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