Ajira Poa - Job creation and skills development for youth in Kenya

Job creation and skills development for youth in Kenya

The Ajira Poa! project helps youth navigate the job market and find employment opportunities.

DCA Kenya

The Issue

Kenya’s youth aged 15 – 35 years constitute about 35% of the total population of 49.7 million. However, youth unemployment which stands at 42 percent remains the biggest challenge. With between 500,000 to 800,000 Kenyan youth entering the job market each year, the economy has not been able to provide the necessary employment opportunities both in formal and informal sectors. 

There are a few missing ingredients that DCA feels are essential to have a more meaningful impact on the lives of youth. These elements include career counselling, coaching, mentorship, and – perhaps most significant – encouragement and inspiration.  

The Project

The Ajira Poa! project is an innovative blend of stimulation of demand (jobs), enrichment of supply (skills), and a foundation of guidance from a range of public and private sector partners to help young Kenyans navigate the world of work and guide them toward a path that makes sense for their own personal journey.  

DCA working in consortium with QUERCUS group, ADS-North Rift, Growth Africa, and College of Career Guidance and Development (CCGD) is implementing a job creation and skills development project for youth, in Nakuru, Nyandarua, and West Pokot counties. DCA is working with Fabo to adapt and roll out an eLearning site, chatbot and an eMentorship platform.

The intervention areas include:

  • Soft skills development – training the youth on how to navigate the economic/employment environment by first identifying oneself, relationships with others, and achievement of both personal and organisational goals. Under this package, the project is training youth on various skills including digital literacy, career guidance, life skills, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
  • Technical and Vocational Training – the project is linking the youth with the existing vocational and technical education institutions to gain employable skills.
  • Internship, apprenticeship, and job placements – the project is linking youth with employers in both formal and informal spaces.
  • Enterprise development – the project is training youth on business skills and supporting them through business incubation, market activation, and financial linkages to assist start-ups to grow into sustainable business enterprises.

The Results

  • The project has mobilised and onboarded 2732 youth.
  • 1457 were trained on digital literacy through a blended learning approach, i.e., using the Digital Literacy Course content uploaded in Fabo and face-to-face sessions.
  • 552 youth trained on financial literacy. Five (5) youth business forums anchored on pooling resources to finance their businesses have been established and supported. Additionally, 339 youth have been trained by project team on Resilient me, a drill on saving and insurance and how it practically applies in daily lives of youth pursuing various livelihoods.
  • 1143 have been trained on life skills using a blended learning approach.
  • To link the enrolled youth to guidance/talks on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and good citizenship (GC), a local NGO, Liverpool VCT (LVCT), was engaged and trained 602 youth combining in Nakuru and Nyandarua counties.
  • 1,226 youth have been placed in TVET training and other training pathways including online jobs training for skilling and upskilling.741 youths from these have successfully been linked to scholarships in the county and other schemes like Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), and KCB 2Jiajiri scholarship. 289 youth have been linked to various apprenticeship opportunities in the three counties.
  • A total of 770 youth have reported earning some income in 2021 and 2022. Of this, 47 earn above minimum wage. The project is enhancing initiatives aimed at building a replicable, self-sustainable job and skills development model.
  • Of the 2,732 youth who had been onboarded as at end of year 2, 2,405 youths reported increased positivity on their future. Further, 1,866 youths can articulate and define their career path as a result of the career guidance and counselling training received while 1,558 youths apply financial skills imparted through the project.
  • 273 youth have started or enhanced their business as a result of mentorship, coaching and handholding. Further, 185 youths have been employed in 273 youth-led enterprises facilitated through enterprise development training, coaching and mentorship
About the project

Title: Ajira Poa! Job creation and skills development for youth in Kenya


Sustainable Development Goals:

4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Project Period: January 2021 – December 2023

Budget: 9,840,000 DKK 

Donor: Danida

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