Kenya has a youth unemployment rate of 40% according to the World Bank report of October 2018. Young graduates are unable to find jobs. It is equally hard and more frustrating to get a job for youths who have disabilities. Agency for Disability and Development in Africa (ADDA) together with her partner, Cheshire Disability Services Kenya (CDSK) attempts to bridge this gap of unemployment of YWDs in a program called EmployAble. In this program, ADDA and CDSK have partnered with several training service providers that equip the youths with market-driven skills to increase their employability potential; the institutions facilitates the training. In this era of globalization, there is increased demand for skilled and multi-skilled persons for the industry.
It is in this noble regard that ADDA has partnered with Generations Kenya, who is currently implementing the Sewing Machine Operator (SMO) Program in Athiriver Export Processing Zone. - Generation Kenya targets high-growth employment sectors with skilled labor shortage, including consumer packaged products, financial services sales, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. It operates in partnership with National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) to ensure their trainees are certified on completion of their courses.
Currently, Generation Kenya, with ADDA’s support, is training 5 youths with disabilities, on Sewing Machine Operation. These are three ladies and two gents, all of whom have physical disability. In a disability sensitization exercise conducted by ADDA, the trainers of Generations Kenya are highly receptive of persons with disabilities – PWDs and training them as well. Further, they are looking forward for ADDA to mobilize more YWDs for their January 2019 intake on Sewing Machine Operation. They are willing to train those with mild physical disabilities and hearing impairment. This is a highly commendable move towards inclusive employment and increasing the employability of YWDs.
The employer at Dala textiles, in conjunction with Generations Kenya, supports the empowerment of YWDs and is open to grant employment opportunity upon proof of skills acquisition and work readiness. He states that his goal is to prove to the general public that PWDs can work and be equally productive if given the opportunity.