The Barclays Bank of Kenya SKYE program is equipping youth with skills to prepare them for employment in the construction industry. With the booming construction sector including real estate industry and road constructions across the country, the SKYE program has improved the skills of youth in Eastlands region (Mathare, Dandora, Huruma, Githurai) on masonry, plumbing and electrical wiring.
The SKYE program is a sport led initiative funded by Barclays and implemented by IYF (International Youth Federation) to reach the youth especially those who love sports. It is part of the global initiative to reach the youth through sports called ‘Spaces for Sport’. In 2015, the initiative had reached over 8,000 youth.
The Kenyan construction industry contributes 7 percent of the country’s GDP, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. In quarter 1 of 2016 construction industry grew by 9.9 percent from 12.6 percent in the same period of 2015.
According to Construction online, top 3 key drivers of construction industry in Kenya are the rapid growth in population and urbanization, deficit in infrastructure and shortages of office space.
A recent report by financial consultancy firm Deloitte showed that Kenya had the highest number of infrastructure deals in East Africa in 2015. The same report says that there were approximately 61 reported infrastructure projects in the region worth 5.9 trillion Kenyan shillings ($57.5 billion).
According to Barclays Bank, the total investment in this initiative is sh47,970,000.00. The funds are intended on providing young people with the technical and financial literacy skills which will help them acquire economic independence and security.
During the running of the program, Barclays has created partnerships with various organisations. IYF is the implementing partner, MYSA (Mathare Youth Sports Association) is the place where youth gather to play different sports, Arc Skills is the vocational trainer and the youth are certified by the governing body the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA). The youth train at the construction sites and these are offered by the HF foundation.
Through the program 2,600 young people received financial skills training using ‘Ready to Work’ curriculum while 500 received work readiness and artisan skills. Last Friday, 16th December, 500 youth graduated with certificates on masonry, plumbing & electrical wiring. They will also receive international certification to work in the region and internationally.
The construction sector could further grow next year with lower interest rates from banks. Private developers have a choice of four growing markets: office, retail, industrial and residential while for the public sector, the railways, roads and ports significantly determine their spending in the sector.