Youths seeking to attain economic independence have been urged to take interest in Barclays Bank of Kenya’s various empowerment projects that include the ReadytoWork initiative.
The projects fall under three pillars that include education and skills, enterprise development and financial inclusion.
For these projects, the bank is investing Sh230 million that will see more youths start successful businesses, create employment or find meaningful work.
“More and more Kenyan youths continue to get educated. However the levels of unemployment 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,” Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said.
Hence, the bank is planning to provide 70,000 Kenyan youths with the skills they need to attain economic independence.
– How the projects will work –
The bank has partnered with Strathmore University, the University of Nairobi and Technoserve among others to implement the three pillared projects.
“The education and skills pillar for instance, will equip the next generation with skills and development they need to secure employment. This is where the ReadytoWork initiative falls under,” Awori explained.
The initiative will for instance help youths build skills needed to make transition from education into the world of work.
“This digital and face to face initiative will 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,” the bank said.
The enterprise development pillar on its part is mandated to help young people start, run and grow their businesses in order to create income and employment. On the other hand, the financial inclusion pillar will assist in increasing access to financial services to the underserved.
“We are doing this because for a long time, the impact of our philanthropic model of impacting the society did not have long term solutions. We therefore feel that through the shared growth agenda, we will be able to develop commercial business solutions that solve key social challenges,” Awori said.
Colleta Akinyi Suda, the Higher Education Principal Secretary said that the various collaborative projects are key in the empowerment of the youth and that the government supports the move.
“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.
To be part of the projects, students only need to sign up for modules accessible on the Barclays portal.