Employers’ Skills Transformative Agenda for Improved Productivity, Decent Work and Development
Technological advancements and shifting labour market dynamics increasingly call for agile and adaptable skill sets. The changes in the world of work, have accelerated labour market transformation and creation of new jobs hence the need for skilling, re-skilling and upskilling. To stay ahead of the curve, employers need to ensure that their workforce has the necessary skills to succeed. Right skills improve performance, enhance productivity, increase competitiveness and reduces business operating costs.
Emerging trends in the working environment such as automation, artificial intelligence, and digitalization, have necessitated the need for employers to continuously upskill their workforce to enhance digital literacy, data protection and even problem-solving skill to ensure they thrive in the modern world. It is beneficial for employers to strive towards addressing the prevalent skills gap. This can be done by giving skills development efforts top priority as well as encouraging lifelong learning.
The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has been at the forefront in contributing to skills development in Kenya and the African continent at large to meet the current and future needs of the labour market. Kenya’s primary goal in skills development is to provide its citizens with the requisite skills that will foster economic growth, expand possibilities for decent work, and enhance the sustainability of business.
FKE has implemented various initiatives that influence policy on skills development in the development of entrepreneurs and enterprises and in the upskilling of women, men and youth, as well as in matching job seekers to internships and jobs The Skills Mismatch Survey conducted by the Federation assisted in identifying gaps and informed the need for the development of the National Skills Development Policy. Furthermore, The survey also contributed to the emergence of employability programmes like the Kenya Youth Empowerment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) that ensured that the youth have the right skills for the job market.
Collaboration is key in driving the skills agenda in the country and the Federation continues to provide guidance and leadership, in the development and validation of various relevant policies that drive the skills agenda in the country by serving on various boards and sitting on technical committees to facilitate the operationalization of Sector Skills Advisory Committees (SSACs) to support curricula review and industry-led occupational standards, in the following institutions: National Industrial Training Authority (NITA); Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB); the National Employment Authority (NEA); the Commission for University Education; the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) and the Kenya Curriculum Development Institute (KICD), among others
At the continental level, the labour migration issue, especially among the youth, has led FKE, through the BUSINESSAfrica Employers Confederation to participate and lead advocacy efforts on skills development through the Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA). The Federation is also working with African Union and other 33 African countries on the newly launched African Continental Qualification Framework that seeks to harmonise the qualifications and support and promote the recognition of prior learning for youth migrating to work within the continent.
Currently, FKE is implementing a Female Future Leadership Programme that aims at building the capacity of women to take on top leadership positions in the corporate world, public institutions, and other spheres and ties in with the Federation also runs the Girls in Technology Programme to inspire more girls to take on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and also
The Federation continues to work with key partners such as the International Labour Organisation ( ILO) , the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions and to engage with other Stakeholders to promote youth skills development and decent work.
In the spirit of this year’s theme ‘skilling teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future’, FKE launched the Industry Training Partnership Program together with key stakeholders in learning institutions, TVET’s and Industry whose key objective is to encourage and advocate for effective cooperation between TVETs and industries to enhance linkages and partnerships.
The Federation of Kenya Employers urges members to offer internships to students to support on-the-job learning Remember, an employer friendly future is fundamentally driven by skills development. Together we can make this future come to fruition.
Happy World Youth Skills Day!
Ms. Jacqueline Mugo (EBS
Executive Director & CEO