Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES)
Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International
Resonance, International Rescue Committee, Land O’Lakes International Development, Geopoll
November 2015 – July 2019
IDIQ Task Order
Kenya, like other African nations, has a rapidly growing youth population. More than 60 percent of its citizens are under the age of 24. This phenomenon offers both great economic opportunity and a significant challenge to create the jobs needed to absorb the one million young people who join the workforce annually. Recent statistics estimate that 18.5 percent of Kenyans aged 15-24 are unemployed, and more than 26 percent are underemployed – meaning that they do not have enough paid work or that they are overqualified for the work they do have. As we have seen in countries around the world, high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment pose serious threats to a country’s economic and social prosperity.
USAID/Kenya’s Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES) program provided motivated but disenfranchised youth in nine counties across Kenya the needed skills and support to be competitive and successful in gaining employment. Through the program, young people were connected to labor market information, financial institutions, and 21st-century employability skills, enabling them to make informed decisions about their careers. K-YES designed skills and vocational training in coordination with local industry and government. The program also focused on facilitating local partnerships and building the capacity of industry, civil society, and government to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of education and employment outcomes in Kenya.
As a sub-implementer to RTI, Resonance led private sector engagement (PSE) and development of strategic public-private partnerships (PPPs) to connect youth to jobs, apprenticeships, and internships; to cultivate youth entrepreneurs and link them with opportunities for financing, business development, and market access; and to foster multi-stakeholder, community-led platforms to strengthen youth employability at the county level.
Under K-YES, Resonance directly designed and launched over 100 public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder platforms to create new economic opportunities for Kenyan youth.