Editor's Comments: The skills gap is a worldwide problem as my many blog posts confirm. Some countries, like Kenya, are working closely with academia and business to come up with creative solutions. Programmes include a three month internships, an 18-month graduate trainee programme, an apprenticeship programme, community training, and frontline management programme.
Lack of technical skills and job experience are major problems for many countries across the globe.
The problems are felt most by emerging economies which have to rely on expatriates to build capacity, spur economic growth and pioneer new sectors. Companies employing expatriate labour do not do so out of choice, it is an expensive option and often exposes them to criticism.
A 2013 World Bank report titled The Job Challenge shows that it has become difficult for most graduates to get jobs within their specific disciplines.
Surprisingly, the main issue is not because there are too many graduates chasing few jobs, but because most graduates lack the necessary skills and experience that the job market requires.
According to McKinsey, 40 per cent of employers report skills gaps in entry level vacancies, hence showing that this is a significant issue to both employers and the unemployed.
This trend is exacerbated by technological advancements which are rapidly replacing manual jobs, leaving millions of young people unprepared to participate in the 21st-century knowledge economy.
So how do employers and job-seekers fill this gap today? Several remedies have been recommended in the past. Here in Kenya, a method that has worked well is the graduate trainee programme where fresh graduates are absorbed into companies.
They are taken through rigorous on the job training after which they are either hired or let to go explore opportunities elsewhere.
The model is used by various global companies including Procter and Gamble, PwC and Deloitte. Graduate training programmes act as a means of transferring skills and experience to workforce entrants and allow organizations to attract and identify talent.
Securing technically talented and experienced staff in an emerging economy like Kenya can be difficult, particularly in newly established sectors such as the extractives sector.
How have companies managed to build and develop talent locally while saving costs on expatriates?
One good example of this is ..Read the entire article