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Barclays Bank Of Kenya Invests Sh230 million In Youth Empowerment Initiative.

Barclays Bank of Kenya is investing Sh230 million that will see more youths start successful businesses, create employment or find meaningful work under their Ready-to-Work initiative.

While partnering the University of Nairobi, Strathmore University and Technoserve among others, the bank intends to implement a three-pillar project. These pillars inclide; education and skills, enterprise development and financial inclusion.

Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said that under this programme, the bank plans to provide 70,000 Kenyan youths with the skills they need to attain economic independence.

“Though so many young people continue to gain formal education every year, the levels of unemployment in the country are still very high. Through this initiative, we hope to train more of them on skills that can assist them in developing the kind of skills that can help them start their own businesses and attain economic independence,” said Awori.

In the education and skills pillar, the initiative plans to equip the youth with the ‘Ready-to-Work’ skills and development necessary to secure employment. The education pillar will be facilitated through digital and face to face methods to guide applicants on how to look for work, what to wear and how to conduct yourself during an interview, how to manage money and ways of impressing colleagues and clients among others.

They will be assisted to build skills needed to make transition from education into the world of work.
The enterprise development pillar is geared towards assisting young people start, run and grow their own enterprises in order to create income and employment.

For the financial inclusion pillar Barclays Bank will assist in increasing financial service accessibility to the underserved.

Principal Secretary Higher Education Colleta Akinyi Suda, praised the initiative by Barclays Kenya saying that it was through such collaborative projects that the country will achieve substantial empowerment of the youth.

“We are sitting on a time bomb in the name of unemployment. Projects such as those launched by Barclays Bank of Kenya are therefore welcomed by the government as it supports its vision of creating more jobs and empowering the youth in any way possible,” she said.

Historically, the rates of youth unemployment in Kenya and the world in general is about four to five times more than that of the adult populace. It has escalated into a major problem in Kenya, with the most recent rises directly attributable to issues of the economy and insecurity. It has led to emotional problems, reduced career potential and created further inequalities particularly between communities. In fact, the financial costs of supporting unemployment (both welfare and medical support) translates into billions.

Kenya is habouring millions of young people out of school and ready to work, but businesses need skills these young people never got, resulting to a difficult school-to-work transition.

It is for that reason that initiatives like this will go a long way in empowering the youth and creating the much needed employment. To be part of these projects, students only need to sign up for modules accessible on the Barclays portal.

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