Youths have been urged to proactively seek out government social programmes that aim to empower young people to learn and commercialize their skills.
The Government’s spokesperson Cyrus Oguna has challenged the youths to take advantage of the government opportunities to participate in useful activities aimed at empowering them.
“Young Kenyans should come out aggressively and exploit the opportunities offered and engage in gainfully economically viable activities that promote self-reliance and economic growth,” he emphasized.
Oguna while speaking during a virtual meeting on Monday on the Sema Na Spox session on existing empowerment programmes targeting the youth, noted that there are many opportunities for the young population but they fail to exploit them.
“There are more jobs than job seekers in Kenya. There are many people earning on online jobs but the maximum number of people working on those platforms is still not attained. The world is heading into a digital space,” he added.
Zilpher Owiti, the Director of the ICT Authority stated that many youths are reluctant when it comes to grabbing opportunities offered by the government and they need to take these programs seriously.
She also noted that many people fear enrolling in online training and jobs because of increased fraud on digital platforms.
“Majority of people do not trust online opportunities but programs like Ajira and other government programs are valid and the government is working hard to increase awareness of these programs so that people can trust these platforms and engage proactively,” she added.
Additionally, she pointed out that the government has established several centres which are well equipped with free internet, computers, and a favorable space where youths can be trained and gain skills.
The centres, she said, comprise public libraries, satellite locations and Ajira clubs in universities. She said that currently, there are 339 centres countrywide where they train data entry, and transcription among others.
Additionally, Owiti said that youths can learn even from remote areas through e-learning platforms for self-learning.
She added that the government has partnered with resource centres, churches, universities and Non-governmental Organisations to increase awareness of youth empowerment programs and opportunities.
Furthermore, Owiti highlighted some challenges that prevent youths from engaging in empowerment programs.
“There are various barriers that prevent youths from engaging proactively such as lack of internet, no access to devices like computers, smartphones and space to concentrate on work,” she noted.
By Mary Odago