Its been a minute since I shared something, I feel very guilty considering we are already half way though the year!
While I’ve been away, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of an amazing group of young women under 30 who are armed to the teeth with information and passion to make a difference in their lives, and the country. Most are entrepreneurs running or have partnered to run businesses.
I like encouraging people to venture into business, growing their talents and making money while at it. Let’s be honest, white-collar jobs are not what they used to be. Who knew you’d make money off running someone else’s social media accounts? who knew you’d one day get paid to go around restaurants rating food?
Majority of those working now have been in that office for a minute, so as you train, whose job are you planning on taking exactly? Companies are downsizing and even shutting down. So where are you getting that job?
Here are a few eye opening facts we’ve seen this year.
As applications for the second cohort of Tuskys internship programme came to a close on June 30th, the reality of joblessness in Kenya became more apparent. According to results of the applications, majority of applicants were masters and undergraduate degree holders seeking to intern at Tuskys, Kenya’s second biggest retail chain in terms of turnover.
“The fact that even holders of Master’s degrees are looking for internships is a pointer that we have a huge role to play in filling in the skills gap,” said Tuskys CEO Dan Githua. “It shows that experience is as important as academic qualifications in the employment market.”
But it also shows how desperate the jobless market has become with thousands of graduates chasing fewer jobs in the market. So few that candidates are resorting to applying for jobs and opportunities they are overqualified for to increase their chances of being considered.
An unsettling fact; 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years.
“The challenge of youth unemployment is compounded by the fact that 90% of all unemployed young people lack vocational skills, said Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary for youth and gender affairs in the Ministry of Public Service. “Addressing youth unemployment therefore calls for innovation, investment and commitment among all stakeholders.”
Unemployment is a major challenge that affects youth across Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.
I’m sure most of you have read this in various WhatsApp groups and fb posts.
If your boss paid you 30,000 every month and you saved all that money without touching a coin, you would need to work for 36 months to get 1 million.
But if you convinced an organization like The UN to give you a printing job for only 5000 umbrellas and you made Ksh. 200 from each umbrella that would be 5000×200=1,000,000. In only 1 day.
It becomes crazy if you want to become a Billionaire. Say your boss pays you 1 million per month and you saved all that money without touching a single coin, in a year you would only have 12 million and you would need to work for 84 years to get 1 billion (How old are you??).
However, there are 40 + million people in Kenya if you supplied salt to 12 million of them once per month making 10 bob per packet, it would only take you 1 year to be a billionaire.
A lot of people may punch holes in this, however what is key here is the lesson.
Times are changing, I’ll tell you this, companies hire people who can perform more than one task. The disruption is real, and its happening fast in Kenya and in Africa. We need to shape up and catch up fast.
My two cents on this:
- On top of what you already studied for, add a few more skills, that always wins.
- White collar jobs aren’t what they used to be, if you are below 30, you fall under the entrepreneurial generation so get off the couch and do something.
- With Africa becoming a ‘continent of interest’ you don’t have to think going abroad will save your life, now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities coming in.
- Tender-preneurship is a thing now, jump on it.
- Take advantage of the youth,women tenders already set aside. If you don’t, who will?
- Nothing will come easy,that we all know, so brace yourself for tough times.However, it will be worth every minute.
- For the record, Farming isn’t shady.
Have a beautiful thought-provoking day 🙂
Cynthia Ythera Mwangi