The government targets to employ more than 50,000 youths from 17 counties under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP).
Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Nadia Ahmed Abdalla Thursday asked the youths to take advantage of the Sh15 billion project meant to boost job opportunities under the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
Ms Abdalla lauded the project for equipping youth with skills that they can use to land jobs, start their own businesses, and employ other people.
"I've been on the ground and I have seen what KYEOP has done for young people," she said at the Institute of Certified Studies in Nairobi.
"We should understand that there is a lot we can do with the opportunities we've been given," she added.
During the event, the CAS also toured a number of exhibitions by KYEOP on knitting, fashion and design and artwork beneficiaries.
Over the last three weeks, Ms Abdalla, Youth Principal Secretary Julius Korir and other ministry officials have been conducting Master Craftsmen and Formal Training Providers assessment to gauge their preparedness for the resumption of the project.
The team has travelled to Mombasa, Kitui, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii and other KYEOP participating counties to ensure that they are ready to re-start the training while conforming to Ministry of Health Covid-19 safety measures.
The KYEOP project is a Sh15 billion project by the government financed by World Bank targeting youth between 18-29 years of Form 4 level and below.
The five-year project seeks to improve youth employability, support job creation, improve labour market information and strengthen youth policy development.
The project is implemented in 17 counties that include Mombasa, Kilifi, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Mandera, Turkana, Wajir, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, Machakos, Kitui and Migori.
Training and internship
So far, some 32,124 youths have received training and internship in both the formal and informal sectors of whom 75 per cent are employed. A further 9,951 business support beneficiaries have received grants of Sh40,000 each while 4,204 youths have received business development services.
The selection of beneficiaries for the 5th cycle was through a computerised random selection after which successful applicants were contacted for guidance on activities that will follow.
The PS said all Ministry of Health protocols will be adhered to during the running of the programme, including social distancing, regular washing of hands and use of face masks.
The Ministry of ICT, which is overseeing the scheme, resumed selection for the 5th cycle which had been suspended in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the project, a business plan competition dubbed MbeleNaBiz for high-potential job creators is mounted.
Some 750 youth-owned enterprises will be financed through MbeleNaBiz programme where 250 beneficiaries will each receive a grant capital of Sh3.6 million.
A further 500 beneficiaries will be awarded Sh900,000 each. This makes a total cost of Sh1.3 billion with a further 1,500 youths who are being trained on preparation of business plans
The project is further implementing a special product, the FutureBora Innovation Challenge, which is an initiative that will come up with high-impact interventions for creating economic opportunities for the "hard-to-serve" youth and funding them through business grants to the tune of Sh120,000,000.