Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has today partnered with Light for the World, through InBusiness Initiative in Kenya, to help bridge the gap between young graduates and the work environment through a series of work readiness and technical training schemes.
In line with the Bank’s FutureMakers employability pillar, the one-year pilot program at a cost Sh 8 million will focus on building employability capacity to over 4,000 University students in 2020 across 5 tertiary institutions in the Country; Kenyatta University, USIU, JKUAT, Zetech University and Multi-Media University. The program will also reach out to over 300 young students with disabilities in a bid to identify barriers to inclusion of more students with disabilities in core courses within the piloted Universities.
Speaking during the groundbreaking at Kenyatta University Main Campus, Standard Chartered Bank CEO, Kariuki Ngari said that the initiative was necessitated by the ever-changing work environment that often demands for social and practical skills from young graduates.
“We live in a highly competitive and dynamic world where the work skills required are continuously shifting and the youth are finding it difficult to match what they learn in the classroom with what is needed in the job market. As such, this programme intends to prepare our university graduates through initiatives such as relationships and people management skills, financial literacy and money management, mapping out employment opportunities as well as trends in employment space.” Mr. Kariuki said.
Stephen Njenga, Country Director LFTW on his part said. “We recognize the need for impactful partnerships, and remain committed to playing our role in advancing the growth of our communities and people. The partnership will ensure that we build employability skills, and boost linkages between universities and private sector which can allow future engagements for internships, practicums, job shadowing or even recruitment.”
“Through such collaborations, we aim to foster inclusivity in higher learning institutions, and attract more players to take a bigger role to support this sector to onboard more students with disabilities especially in STEM courses,” Mr. Njenga added.
With the realization of the serious shortfall in the relevant skills gap, the programme will also aim at delivering career days in the five institutions with companies and organizations called upon to mentor and share their process of recruitment with the students. Additionally, Standard Chartered Bank will engage 30 medium and large companies/employers in the programme to train 50 managers and coaches on how to effectively work with students with disabilities – a step towards nurturing inclusive organizations.
The Futuremakers Employability Programme goes in tandem with the Bank’s continuous investment and support to the youth, which is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic that has paralyzed learning for the last seven months. Standard Chartered Bank is currently providing more than 3,500 girls and young women with education and life skills training and has also invested 15 million Kenyan shillings to training and growing SME women-led businesses.