Scalable, High-Impact Employment Training for Young People
- Programme: Youth Employment Accelerator
- Country: Kenya
- 70% of graduates found a job or returned to full-time education
- Partners: Mastercard Foundation
With its population of young people (aged 15-24) set to double by 2050, youth employment is an urgent concern in Kenya. Currently, 17 per cent of youth in the country are unemployed. At the same time, the business sector in Kenya is growing and wants to hire more workers—but companies are having trouble finding employees with the right skill sets.
The MasterCard Foundation provided funding to AMI to pilot a high-impact and scalable Youth Employment Accelerator to prepare unemployed young people for work. Relying on its signature blended learning platform, AMI created a broad set of online content targeted toward customer care and sales representatives in high-growth sectors. The programme focused on providing a basic understanding of the work environment and soft skills training.
Through a six-week experiential training programme of workshops, team projects, and case studies, along with an extensive set of online courses, 254 participants accessed practical tools to accelerate job searches, advance their roles, or build their careers. Additional mentorship and peer support was provided as they applied those tools in simulated and real work environments.
In a survey conducted after the pilot, 100 per cent of respondents said they felt more confident they could find a job; 70 per cent actually found a job or returned to full-time education. According to Mark M., who now works for a social enterprise in Nairobi, it was an “absolutely wonderful and transformational training. Its very nature kept me involved and interested. I liked that it provided practical structures, tools, and strategies to implement the learned ideas and skills.”
The flexibility of the online platform also allowed AMI to offer this high-impact programme at only 25-35 per cent the cost of traditional employment training programmes, making this a far more affordable and scalable model.
The MasterCard Foundation has since granted an additional US$4.5 million to AMI to train almost 7,000 young people in Rwanda in the hospitality and tourism sector.
Why sharing might not always be caring in a small business
There are several reasons why entrepreneurs avoid giving away equity – unless they are in a fast-growth business and need investors.
Like warthogs need aardvarks, small firms need conducive conditions
Entrepreneurship flourishes in conditions conducive to creating businesses. For SMEs to thrive we need a holistic vision and collaborative action.
The super seed for improving Africa’s food systems; ambitious (and skilled) agribusinesses and entrepreneurs
Addressing the challenges facing the world’s food system requires ambitious, bold action. Specifically, the social impact ecosystem must set out to equip Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the tools and training to improve their businesses, so these essential frontline actors can bear the weight that ultimately rests on their shoulders.