1,000 Kenyan Youth Graduate from McKINSEY Social Initiative

Juliet Eneza Media

Generation 1

President Uhuru Kenyatta presents completion certificate to a Generation Kenya graduate during the 4th Graduation ceremony at the KICC .Looking on is Cecily Kariuki, Cabinet secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs The McKinsey Social Initiative program connects young adults with skills and jobs with an aims of supporting youth workforce development, training, upskilling and facilitate linkage to employment opportunities for the youth.

On July 29, 2016, more than 1,000 young Kenyans graduated from an innovative youth employment program in the presence of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the United States Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Sutphin.

Launched just over a year ago, Generation Kenya has already given 1,600 young people the skills they need to succeed in the private sector.  Funded by McKinsey & Company and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 98% of graduates have already been placed in jobs in one of three careers: banking and insurance sales representatives, retail store assistants and fast-moving consumer goods sales representatives.

During his historic visit exactly a year ago, President Barack Obama said, “The most urgent task facing Africa today, and for decades ahead, is creating opportunities for this next generation.”  The Generation Kenya activity is part of a broader USAID/Kenya and East Africa strategy to place 80,000 young men and women into meaningful jobs by the year 2020.

The graduation took place at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. Graduates are guaranteed interviews with one of Generation’s more than 60 employer partners, including Liberty Insurance, Britam, Barclays, Java House, Bidco, Carrefour, Woolworths and Old Mutual and others.

The Generation program graduates are providing value to employers because they are less expensive to recruit, they stay in the job longer and they perform better than other entry level employees.  This is why 100% of employer partners would hire Generation graduates again.

“The Generation graduates we have hired have been fantastic starting on day one of the job,” said Benson Wairegi, Britam CEO. “This is the best source of talent we have ever found for filling our entry-level jobs.”

Generation Kenya currently offers employment programs in six centres in Nairobi – Buruburu, Kangemi, Kibera, South B, Shauri Moyo, and Ruaraka– and two more have recently opened in Mombasa. Generation is a non-profit program that serves unemployed or underemployed young adults, aged 20 to 30, and works with a wide range of employer and implementation partners.

“Generation changed the way I think about both my present and my future,” said Cecilia Maina, recent graduate. “Not only can I now support my family, but I have plans to build a career in the banking industry. The future is bright!”