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December 10, 2018

Firms incurr extra costs to drill fresh graduates

University of Nairobi students celebrate their 55th graduation on September 2. /FILE
University of Nairobi students celebrate their 55th graduation on September 2. /FILE

Employers in Kenya spend between Sh20,000 to Sh100,000 to retrain graduates to fit in their operations, according to a Federation of Kenya Employers survey(FKE).

The skills mismatch survey was conducted in public and private organisations in the education, labour, agriculture, banking and finance, retail, building and construction, energy, information and technology, manufacturing and tourism sectors. 

It shows that 144 out of 292 target respondents reported inequalities in the skills possessed by graduates.

Due to this, 22 per cent had to train in work and occupation basics, nine per cent in customer service, six per cent on knowledge about the organisation and policies and five per cent in equipment and machine operation.

The report says that irregularity has led to wastage of resources and mass unemployment in the country hurting its global competitiveness.

“A greater proportion of employers incur a cost in retraining the fresh graduates. 55 per cent of employers have the trainings session between one and three times,” the report released yesterday shows.

The report further shows that Kenya is a high-skilled labour economy with more people having graduate degrees as compared to diploma or certificate qualifications.

Organisations recorded university graduates in low skilled positions such as clerical officer and office secretary representing 39 per cent and 30 per cent of the 292 companies surveyed.

Five percent per cent of the companies registered graduates working as security staff or watchman and three per cent had office cleaners. 36 per cent also received over-qualified applicants with masters’ degrees in the consultancy and strategy and finance positions.

The jobs with high applications were accounting, sales and marketing, office clerks and engineers, with 28 per cent, 14 per cent, 11 per cent and nine per cent respectively. Few Kenyans applied for business management and technical positions at 12 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

This is despite the government targeting one million admissions every year to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions by constructing 15 more institutions for accessibility and inclusivity of all Kenyans.

Currently, only 0.2 percent of the Kenyan population is enrolled to TVET institutions

FKE asked the government to review curriculum to match labour needs saying focus should be on practical-oriented units. It said organisations should assume attachment and internship programs as a cooperate social responsibility.

“Implementation of technical curriculum will impart sufficient skills and competency to the students so that organisations don’t have to spend much money on training on those competences,” the report says.

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