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State partners with KEPSA in internship programme

The Government has partnered with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to roll out internship programmes in the private sector.

Through the partnership, 50,000 graduates are set to work and gain experience in the private sector as the government moves to close the gap in unemployment in the country.

The programme, dubbed Kenya Internship and Jobs Initiative (KIJI), will see thousands of graduates receive on-the-job training and skilling to be able to compete effectively with their counterparts from around the world.

State Department for Industry Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Juma Mukwana, said the initiative to be launched later this year would complement the Public Service Internship Programme (PSIP) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) internship programmes, which have absorbed 4,000 and 25, 000 fresh graduates, respectively.

To benefit from the programme, applicants will apply online on a portal where various players in the private sector will post openings.

The said portal, www.kiji.go.ke, has already been activated with over 20,000 opportunities advertised.

Dr. Mukwana said besides earning a monthly stipend through the programmes, the beneficiaries shall be equipped with the necessary skills to compete effectively for opportunities locally and globally.

The Government, he said, has formulated a framework to facilitate smooth running of the programme.

The framework, he said, outlines what is expected from the industries in terms of working conditions, insurance, duration of the internship and amount of money to be paid to the interns.

“What was delaying us was lack of a framework to roll out the programme.” We did not want our interns to go into industries with poor working conditions,” he said.

Speaking during a Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) workshop in Kisumu, the PS underscored the importance of aligning the training offered at the institutions to be in tandem with industry needs.

This, he said, would facilitate easy placement of interns in the various industries that have expressed interest. “We have seen cases where our graduates, once given an opportunity, cannot deliver. We must ensure that the training we offer matches industry needs,” he said.

He lauded the partnership with the private sector, urging other players in the sector to come on board to help narrow the unemployment gap in the country,” he said.

By Chris Mahandara

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