GIZ promotes youth employment in agri-business sector – Kenya News Agency

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German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) has partnered with a major job placement agency to secure jobs for youths in agribusiness.

The partnership with Brighter Monday, targets to link the youth in Western Kenya, to the private sector seeking qualified personnel to fill vacant positions in the agri-business sector.

Pancy Maina is the Brighter Monday Campaign manager. She said that the agribusiness industry was large and full of opportunities that youth can use to end unemployment.

This, however, she said has not taken root since the youth who constitute 70 per cent of the country’s population, have shunned agriculture despite the sector’s huge potential.

Maina spoke at Kisumu’s workshop on managing multigenerational workforce.

600 youths will be trained from Siaya, Kakamega and Bungoma counties. This training will help to link the youth with the sector’s existing and future opportunities.

Julia Mueller, GIZ Labor Matching Adviser said that the AgriJobs 4 Youth, funded by Germany, aims at changing the negative perception of agriculture by youth to ensure they take advantage of the many opportunities within the sector.

“Agriculture is perceived as a punishment and many youths take it as a last resort. Through this program we are trying to change this negative perception,” she said.

Maina stated that most youths were unaware of the opportunities along the value chain of agriculture. She added that many of them have been kept away from the sector by the belief that agriculture is all about digging.

She highlighted opportunities in value-adding, Internet of Things (IOT), and marketing where youths can find jobs to address the problem of unemployment in the country.

Maina says that the perception of youth in the five counties has changed through engagement and sensitization. Many are now entering the sector.

“We have started to witness a lot of young people returning back home from the cities to venture into agriculture,” she said.

Speaking during the same occasion, Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), Human Resource Manager, Argwings Raballa, said most of the youth in the area have shunned agriculture programmes and instead prefer softer courses such as Information Technology (IT) leaving a huge skills gap in the sector.

He said that Human Resource firms were recruiting workers in the Agri-business sector. However, they lacked the skills to absorb young people with the right competence, since the focus has shifted to emerging disciplines such as ICT.

Lucy Kanana is a HR practitioner who focuses on training youths in agriculture. She also mentioned the difficulties in recruiting the right workers in the agribusiness industry.

“Most of the youth just have a blanket certificate from the university or college and have not bothered to develop specific skills to meet the demands of the sector,” she said.

She added that there was a lack of information about the sector. Many youths are entering the sector and opting out when they don’t get the results they want.

“We have a good number of young people venturing into agriculture as a last resort without proper information and what they are required to do, resulting in huge losses,” said Kanana.

By Chris Mahandara

Source: kenyanews

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