By: DANIEL OTIENO
Unemployed graduates will from next year get internships of up to one year with the government to prepare them for the job market.
The plan seeks to bridge the skills gap of Kenyan university graduates, whose job suitability has been questioned by employers and other stakeholders.
A new internship policy released by the Public Service Commission also says those who will be absorbed will be given a stipend to encourage many candidates to apply for the programme.
According to PSC Chairperson Margaret Kobia, the successful candidates will be offered the opportunity to gain work experience, which will improve their competitiveness.
She said lack of work experience contributed significantly to the high rate of youth unemployment.
A recent survey by the human resources consultancy firm Corporate Staffing Services indicated that almost three quarters of the respondents receive a large number of job applications, yet it was still difficult to find top talent with a positive attitude towards work.
Corporate Staffing Services Chief Executive Perminus Wainaina said: “University students should focus on gaining specialised work experience and job knowledge.”
The new arrangement is a departure from the current practice where government ministries and departments offer internship only to students for whom it is a prerequisite to completion of their studies.
Prof Kobia said with practical experience, the graduates will have better chances of securing employment.
The Public Service Commission will publicise all internships on its website and other platforms.
The internship is open to unemployed Kenyan graduates who have not been exposed to work experience related to their areas of study.
It is also open to degree and diploma holders, for whom internship is a requirement for registration with their professional organisations.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION