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Graduates urged to take up digital jobs to counter unemployment

Industrialisation CAS Karanja has encouraged Zetech graduands to be tech-savvy to remain competitive.

In Summary
  • He said that youths are being trained on transcription, digital marketing and virtual assistance in the Ajira  empowerment centres. 

  • The graduands were also advised to apply soft skills in their area of specialisation and create a network of relevant people to help them succeed.
Industrialization CAS Lawrence Karanja receives a gift from Zetech University Chancellor Prof Susan Alfano and Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene.
CENTRAL: Be techno-savvy, take up online jobs to beat unemployment-University graduands urged Industrialization CAS Lawrence Karanja receives a gift from Zetech University Chancellor Prof Susan Alfano and Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene.
Image: John Kamau

University graduates have been urged to embrace technology and take up online jobs to avoid unemployment.

Industrialisation Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Karanja said there are numerous opportunities in the digital workspace that the youth can take advantage of to make a decent income.

The CAS spoke at Zetech University in Ruiru on Friday during a virtual graduation ceremony.

Some 1,466 graduands were conferred with degrees, diplomas and certificates in diverse fields.

Karanja told graduands that they must be entrepreneurial and well versed with technology to fit in the competitive global job market.

He said that they must be innovative so that they can be the drivers of industrial development in the country.

“Innovation leads to enhanced productivity, enhancing growth and much needed employment to our youth," Karanja said.

The CAS said that the Kenya Industrial Research and Development  Institute is incubating students’ innovations for free and providing the students and graduands with technical support.

KIRD also offers them space to advance their innovations at the Nairobi and Kisumu centres.

“We are keen on nurturing innovations from our youth. We also patent the innovations so that they can benefit the youth by being a source of income through the intellectual property,” Karanja said.

At the same time, he said online jobs are currently most lucrative opportunities for the youth, noting that the government has already eased access to digital opportunities through the Ajira Programme.

Ajira was piloted in the country by the Ministry of ICT in 2016.

"I urge our youth to enrol in the Ajira Digital Programme so that they can benefit and make online work as an alternative employment," he said.

The CAS said that despite Covid-19 pandemic that led to massive loss of jobs for millions, online workers were only slightly affected.

“Online workers were not affected simply because their workspace is safe to conduct business and deliver services. It’s high time to embrace technological changes and innovations to promote remote working as alternative employment.”

He added, “Globally, many countries invested a lot in online work and they are generating a lot of revenue in billions to their respective economies and that is our goal.”

Karanja said that youths are being trained on transcription, digital marketing, virtual assistance, data entry and management and online writing in the Ajira  empowerment centres. 

“The training, which is being offered for free by the government, is aimed at imparting hands-on skills and knowledge to the youth as well as sharpening their digital skills,” he said.

Zetech University Chancellor Prof Susan Alfano said that institution has rolled out Masters of Business Administration programme  as it seeks to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

She told graduands to apply soft skills in their area of specialisation and create a network of relevant people in order to succeed.

“Soft skills go beyond technical skills. We must endeavour to be technopreneurial individuals because there’s a wide application of technology in almost all areas,” she said

Vice Chancellor Njenga Munene also challenged graduands to be entrepreneurial, noting that in the near future, close to 70 per cent of jobs held by people will be technology-based. 

“We are at an advanced stage in establishing an entrepreneurial ecosystem incubation hub which will help us incubate students’ business ideas and later graduate them to industrial parks,” he said.

Munene said that the university will host Ruiru's Ajira hub to assist students and youths from the populous constituency access the facility and training with ease.

(edited by Amol Awuor)