Over 10,000 youth have been trained in the Coast Region under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) that began in 2018.
Speaking to KNA the Coast Regional Coordinator for Youth Affairs Willis Ayum said the KYEOP project comes with a monthly stipend to enable beneficiaries attend the trainings effectively and be able to afford meals and transport costs for those coming from distant places.
Ayum revealed that majority of the first lot which was trained in 2018 are already in businesses as events managers, beauticians or manning salons and cosmetics outlets.
He said the training had come with several success stories including a young girl from Burukenge slums in Tudor Mombasa who exemplary saved her stipend and began her own salon.
The youth officer praised another girl living with disability in LungaLunga Kwale County who with one hand physical disability didn’t lose hope and has established a beauty salon and was giving fair competition to similar businesses around hers.
“We have quite a number of these young people. Some of them are in business in Kwale, Kilifi, Malindi where some have ventured into businesses and others employment,” said Ayum.
He added that quite a number of those who undergo training and complete successfully are absorbed by the master crafts men and women business owners.
“These business owners try to look at those with various strengths. Though they cannot absorb most of them, they will always retain some as employees to start earning while they release others after certification by National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) so they are able to look for livelihoods elsewhere,” he informed.
The coordinator hinted at giving another chance for Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi youth to be absorbed in the nexts scope of training which may be advertised towards the end of the year for the fifth phase.
KYEOP is a project by the National government and the World Bank which has advanced to the government a Sh15 billion loan. Besides skills training the project also deals with business improvement and entrepreneurship where young people can apply for business support grant which is managed by Micro Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA).
Ayum singled a beneficiary young man in Bamburi Mombasa who started with poultry but has now ventured into gas distribution after training by MSEA.
Ayum reiterated that the Ministry has devised unique projects for the coastal region that include skills improvement, Anti Radicalization, Economic empowerment, Peace, Talent, Environment, and Agribusiness for youths in agriculture among other programmes.
KYEOP intended to provide an opportunity for young people between the age of 18 and 29 who never had an opportunity to train in an institution.
The project benefits youth who dropped out of school at primary and secondary levels.
The training offered under KYEOP is largely through apprenticeship whereby beneficiaries are trained using master crafts men and women who are experts in their own fields, identified and certified by National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).
The crafts masters train the young people for a duration of five months before they are assessed getting certifications by NITA.
Before getting into actual training for apprenticeship, the youth are taken through a one month orientation. The first two weeks they are taken through life skills for employability including how to relate, make decisions and how to resolve conflicts at the work place among others.
After the two weeks, they are taken through two more weeks on core business skills training where they are taught basic business skills including book keeping, making business decisions, working out profits, pricing, and how to relate with customers.
“The issue is employability and we are looking at self-employment as well as formal employment with more emphasis on self-employment because of the issues of skills gained,” said Ayum.
The KYEOP program in coast region is implemented in three counties of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi with Mombasa and Kwale being two of the 17 pioneer counties implementing the KYEOP program nationwide.
The Coast Regional Office coordinates and implements youth development and empowerment projects and programs within the state department for youth domiciled in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
By Joseph Kamolo