AMI, MasterCard partner to tackle youth unemployment

By Grace Maina/Release

The African Management Initiative (AMI) has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to develop a scalable model for training and placing underprivileged youth into entry-level positions in organisations across Kenya.

The initiative, dubbed Youth Employment Accelerator (YEA), will offer a free 6-week learning and skills development programme for 300 unemployed youth aged 18-24 from low income communities around Nairobi.

The top 200 candidates will then be offered placements with some of Kenya’s fast-growing companies in the Financial, Solar and BPO sectors.

The focus is on entry-level jobs in sales and customer service in call centres, which have struggled in the past with finding and retaining well-prepared candidates.

Registration for the programme is open until September 8th, followed by a rigorous application and selection process to get 300 of the best and most committed youths into the programme.

The 6-week programme runs from October 3-November 11, with graduates ready for placement from mid-November onward. Applications should be made at

Rebecca Harrison, CEO of AMI says, “HR Managers are increasingly recruiting employees based on their workplace readiness skills over their technical skills. We are excited to be part of the skills training solution that will enable unemployed youth from underprivileged backgrounds build employable skills. ”

According to a 2016 AMI Report on the state of talent in the workplace, both public and private sector HR professionals ranked workplace-readiness and people management skills as more important than technical and functional skills.

The YEA programme, focusing on key workplace-readiness skills for entry-level roles, will use AMI’s unique blended-learning approach to maximize learning on the programme, combining workshops, online courses, team assignments and community projects.

To ensure that new hires can effectively adapt to the workplace and learn to thrive in their role, AMI will offer post-placement support in the form of coaching, additional training and peer support.

Part of this is a short course that has been developed for front-line managers on how to manage these new recruits.

This course will be offered to partner companies who hire YEA graduates and can be enhanced with other management courses offered by AMI.

“At AMI we have created a scalable model to develop a generation of youth who were previously unemployed, whether that was due to inappropriate skills or finances. We are delighted to be partnering with The MasterCard Foundation to provide youth with the right skills and attitude for the job market, as well as real job opportunities to get their careers started.” added Rebecca.