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How Kenya can build skilled workforce

By Margaret Kanini | May 23rd 2014 | 2 min read
By Margaret Kanini | May 23rd 2014

Kenya; A series of recent reports have shown that human capital has the power to either push forward or constrain Kenya’s growth.

This week, Ernst and Young released a survey that found Kenyan workers do not have the required skilled manpower to take up the top-most positions in most local organisations.

These forces firms to import skilled labour from countries around the world.

Active participation

To reverse this trend, Ms Celestine Munda, who heads the East Region advisory services at Ernst and Young, said professional bodies must work together with institutions of higher learning to shape the curriculum students follow to ensure they are ready for the job market.

“The active participation of stakeholders will help local institutions understand where the industry is going and shape the focus. Most of these institutions do not know what is happening in the market,” she said.

Ms Munda said professional bodies in the country are responsible for managing and regulating their respective industries, so they must ensure they do not end up with sub-standard professionals.

The Government is also a key stakeholder, she added, since each ministry oversees a certain cadre of professionals in the country and is responsible for directing them.

“Ministries can come up with some form of formal opportunities to build skills and talents among their own. For instance, they can come up with formal internship opportunities for students who are in their semi-final year of their college or university education to nurture and grow their talent.”  

Munda added that the Government should consider increasing the number of training colleges and technical institutions as they play a major role in developing quality professionals who meet market thresholds.

It is estimated that African growth has the potential to create between 54 and 72 million jobs by 2020, which will require six million extra managers. If Kenya is to take advantage of this opportunity, it must work towards improving skills of its workforce.


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