Uasin Gishu County Government has partnered with The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) to ensure young graduates in the county get internship opportunities in the private sector across the country.
The partnership will see over 1000 youths across the county from universities, colleges and technical and vocational training institutes, get the internship opportunities provided by members of the KNCCI.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the county and KNCCI, Governor Jackson Mandago said the platform would give young graduates an opportunity to acquire practical industry skills in a real-life business environment.
Mandago further said that the partnership would open up internship opportunities beyond the government sector and allow young people to get opportunities in the private sector.
“This opportunity will enable us to provide internships even to students who have taken careers that are ordinarily in government sectors,” he said.
The Governor said complaints by organizations and business owners concerning “half-baked” graduates prompted the county government to come up with the internship programme to enable youths to get practical industry skills, accompanied by a paid stipend so that investors do not incur extra costs when training the interns.
The collaboration with KNCCI will see the students deployed in all the 47 counties in an attempt to help the students experience life, business, and cultures of the other regions in the country.
On his part, the chamber’s president, Richard Ngatia said the chamber would ensure the students are trained on integrity, financial literacy and capacity building; skills that will not only help them as employees but also as future business owners.
KNCCI is a member of The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) comprises over 150 countries in the world. With over 10,000 members across the country such as the Kenya Bankers Association, Toyota and Safaricom among others, the president believes they have what it takes to furnish the interns with the required set of skills.
“We are also preparing these young people for the global markets considering Kenya is part of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfTCFA), where borders have been opened for the private sector to seek opportunities within the region,” he said.
Ngatia lauded the county government’s commitment in investing on young people who are the leaders of tomorrow.
The Chairman of the Uasin Gishu chapter Chamber of Commerce, Willy Kenei lauded the County government for its increased investments in the education sector especially the TVETs.
Kenei reiterated that the internship programme would expose the students to gaps outside the county where they could take advantage and learn more, for instance, maritime technologies.
“I want to challenge those who will be selected for the programme to do their best so that they can be absorbed by the companies and businesses they intern for, this way we shall also be solving the problem of unemployment,” he said.
This being the first time, the chamber is partnering with a county government on internship. Kenei challenged other counties to form such partnerships for the growth and advancement of Kenyan youths.
This is the fourth year the Uasin Gishu County internship programme is being implemented with over 4000 students already benefitted from the programme.
By Brian Kipkenei and Kiptanui Cherono