Adopt online jobs to reduce unemployment, CS Mucheru urges young people – Kenya News Agency
ICT, Innovation and Youth Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru called on young Kenyans to embrace the online jobs he says have increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mucheru said that although millions of employees around the world lost their livelihoods when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, opportunities for online workers have improved dramatically in the areas of transcription, marketing. digital, virtual assistance, data entry and management and online writing.
In a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s chief administrative secretary, Maureen Mbaka, at the launch of Egerton University’s Ajira digital club, the cabinet secretary said the government has facilitated access to digital opportunities in the country through the Ajira digital program.
“Working online is the way to go. The opportunities in the digital workplace far outweigh the number of digital workers. I urge our young people to enroll in the Ajira digital program so that they can benefit from it and make online work an alternative job.
As the world grapples with the socio-economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, online workers have not been affected as their workspace is safe to conduct business and provide services. It is high time that young Kenyans, who constitute 75 percent of the population, embrace technological changes and innovations to promote remote work as an alternative job, ”said the SC.
He said the ministry, together with parliamentarians, has opened Ajira youth empowerment centers in all constituencies, where young people can register and train.
Mucheru also revealed that his ministry is partnering with the justice system to provide online transcription jobs for young people.
“We have piloted online transcription jobs in courts in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nairobi where more than 700 youth are engaged. Each year, we provide the opportunity for 400 young people to intern with government and the private sector to prepare to enter the online market.
Globally, many countries have invested a lot in working online and they are generating a lot of billions in income for their respective economies and that is our absolute goal as a country, ”he added.
Ajira Empowerment Centers seek to impart skills to young people to help them secure temporary online work, such as software development and transcription services in a rapidly changing global gig economy.
The Ajira program involves hiring mentors to offer training and provide free internet connectivity and workspaces through the Constituency Innovation Centers, largely funded by the National Government’s Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).
Driven by higher internet penetration, supported by the growing use of smartphones, Kenya has set itself the goal of becoming a technology hub for Africa, providing employment opportunities for its increasingly skilled youth. and innovative. Some 320 innovation hubs were created between July 2017 and June 2020, according to a progress report from the Ministry of ICT and Youth.
Mucheru said that the deployment of Ajira digital clubs is intended to take place in all higher level institutions and aims to reach more young people and expand the footprints of the Ajira digital program across the country.
“The Ajira program will allow us to instill the spirit and innovative capabilities in our citizens, creating a more technologically dynamic generation over the next decade or so. I believe this is the path to a 21st century Kenyan ‘Silicon Valley’, ”he said.
For his part, Mbaka said the government is committed to establishing more Ajira digital clubs at universities and technical and vocational training institutes (TVET) across the country as it strives to promote the mentoring and the collaborative learning approach to finding digital work.
The CAS claimed that Ajira’s digital clubs are intended to serve as formal structures within the various higher education institutions to attract new members into Ajira’s digital ecosystem, where citizens have access to training courses. preparation for work, mentorship and visibility of employment opportunities in the odd-job economy. .
“We aim to equip more young Kenyans with skills that will enable them to earn money through digital and digital jobs. We are delighted to formalize and fully operationalize another Ajira digital club to train, mentor and connect young people with various online jobs and enable them to earn a living wage, ”said Mbaka.
She added that “Each Ajira Digital club in each institution has an Ajira boss and Ajira club champions who will be able to organize different club activities designed to involve all students and provide them with opportunities to learn new skills. and to venture into digital work ”.
Egerton University Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Isaac Kibwage said the Ajira initiative was of crucial importance to Kenya’s quest to create many jobs for young people, especially in universities and TVET.
Prof Kibwage said the program that targets young people entering and leaving formal education systems is a broader strategy to create an environment conducive to job creation and skills development, as well as incubating a culture of education. entrepreneurship among young people.
“Our goal was to expose our students and graduates to the opportunities of the digital workspace.
The Egerton University Ajira Digital Club is run by students, for students, and will serve as additional training, incubation and mentoring forums that will help them access digital and digital employment opportunities, ”said Professor Kibwage .
By Anne Mwale