Microsoft in partnership with Homeboyz Foundation have launched an online portal called Tuko Works. The website aims to provide Kenyan youth with free resources, training, career guidance services and entrepreneurial opportunities through a network of accessible tools and content on various opportunities in addition to skills and enterprise development resources.
Microsoft Kenya Country Manager Kunle Awosika,said: “The introduction of the portal was necessitated by the need to bridge the information gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and school leavers by providing a network of accessible opportunities on various openings as well as necessary training on how to start a new enterprise”.
Last year, Microsoft and the The Future Project launched ‘Aiki Nigeria’, a youth employment programme to help young Nigerians get the skills to set up their own businesses or get jobs. therefore, Kenya is the second country after Nigeria with a YouthWorks project in sub-Saharan Africa. Microsoft Corporation hopes to roll out in 19 countries across Africa and Middle East.
The 2012 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report highlights the fast but unemployment growth pattern on the continent: 200 million young people aged between 15 and 24, representing 60 percent of the total population and 45 percent of the labour force. This presents an enormous potential to transform Africa’s developing economies into the leading source of talent in the global market.
Homeboyz Foundation Chairman Myke Rabar said: “Many young people have little or no skills and are therefore largely excluded from productive economic and social life. Those that have some education often exhibit skills irrelevant to current demand in the labour market. Leading to a situation where educational and skill requirements are increasing and thus, resulting in millions of unemployed and underemployed youth”.
Just over a year ago, Microsoft launched the 4Afrika Initiative focusing on the Youth and SMEs to accelerate African innovation by Africans for the continent and the world. The initiative brings, world-class skills and capacity building and affordable access to technology. Tukoworks.co.ke can be accessed from computers, tablets and mobile phones. Features of the portal include:
- Career guidance tools: These assessments will support youth in their self-awareness to identify the skills they need to develop to be successful in their careers, and will help link them to the appropriate career advisors, training and opportunities.
- Job matching: Job, internship, and volunteer postings easily automated online, with job preparation resources on CV and cover letter writing, interviews, and workers’ rights and responsibilities.
- Extensive training options: For different skills, customized to specific target groups and jobs, and in categories such as IT skills, soft skills, entrepreneurial skills, and language skills.
- Mentoring and volunteering matching: Leveraging various alumni networks and corporate, non-corporate and individual support.
- Social media integration: Capturing real-time feedback of young leaders and job seekers, as well as employers, which can identify training gaps compared to requirements.
AIESEC – University of Nairobi Chapter member Ruthie Ndung’u said, “I remember needing a teacher of entrepreneurship but never got to have one. TukoWorks grants not only me but other young people this opportunity. Its interactive nature and user friendliness made me excited about my capabilities as a young person.”