According to a report by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) that was launched in 2018, it is estimated that about 66 percent of the university graduates in Kenya are not well prepared for the labour market because they do not have the requisite practical skills. In that respect, Bidco Africa Limited and Mount Kenya University (MKU) have entered into a partnership that will see students from the institution gain practical skills that are necessary in producing quality graduates who are well equipped for the labour market.
With the continuous calls on learning institutions to embrace industry benchmarks in order to keep pace with the ever-changing job environments and needs, MKU has made a bold move that will arm its students with hands-on skills and experience as they enter the ever-competitive labour market.
Memorandum of Understanding
Prof. Peter Wanderi, MKU’s acting Vice Chancellor applauded the new union and affirmed the university’s commitment to make it a success. “We welcome the memorandum of understanding as it gives our students a chance to get attachment and internship opportunities at Bidco Africa and after successful completion, they may either be retained as employees of Bidco or get employed elsewhere, “said Prof. Wanderi.
On the other hand, Bidco Africa Group Director, Chris Diaz, welcomed the move and noted that it aligns and revamps the government’s efforts in championing the establishment of more technical Institutions so that the youth who complete their studies can gain and possess skills that are in high demand in the labour market. “With Kenya’s unemployment rate at a high of about 9.3 percent and about 55 percent of youth unemployed, this partnership is timely. It comes at a time when we are expanding with ventures in new innovative product categories and these are opportunities that will be available for the graduates from MKU who will become competitive for the job market once they leave,” noted Diaz.
Under the partnership, Bidco and MKU will hold joint conferences, workshops and seminars on mutually agreed topical areas that will help align the curriculum on some of the subject courses relevant to the manufacturing, sales and marketing industries.
The collaboration will also arm students with entrepreneurial skills. Moreover, Bidco seeks to entrench the need for the youth to embrace environmental conversation and good practices in promoting health and sanitation. The two Thika based organizations will thus spearhead joint activities that promote inclusive agribusiness practices to promote food security by training farmers within the local communities while also creating learning programmes that empower students to be more innovative so that they can become effective job creators.