New Skills Give Young Kenyans Hope for the Future

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Kim Burns Case
+254 706 033 203 or

Today, dozens of Kenyan youth at the PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute demonstrated new vocational skills gained through the Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES). The program, a five year $21.9 million investment supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is celebrating its one-year anniversary.

K-YES has provided quality vocational, financial and business skills training to more than 52,000 young people in Bungoma, Garissa, Kericho, Kwale and Nairobi counties. The program focuses on out-of-school youth between the ages for 18 and 35 without a high school certificate. 

“Thanks to these trainings, those who didn’t finish school are discovering they still have numerous opportunities to advance in life,” USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission Director Karen Freeman said. 

Training provided by vocational training centers (VTCs) focuses on improving technical and work readiness skills in high-demand industries such as plumbing, masonry, poultry farming and retail and distribution of household goods. Employers and educators work together to ensure the training addresses specific skills gaps, especially those identified in the informal sector which accounts for more than 80 percent of new jobs in the country. 

“There is no silver bullet for addressing youth unemployment. The issue is too big for any single donor to solve or fund,” Mission Director Freeman said. “By working with private and public partners, we are pooling our expertise and resources to provide practical solutions.”

Partnerships with the public and private sector, including the Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority; the Curriculum Development, Accreditation and Certification Council; the Nairobi Youth Bunge Association and VTCs have helped enhance employability and connect more youth to training opportunities. 

K-YES contributes to USAID’s goal of placing 80,000 young Kenyan men and women into meaningful jobs by the year 2020.