Kenya Labor Market Assessment

Kenya_LMA_Cover_thumb.pngThe USAID Kenya Mission engaged Workforce Connections, with support from the FIELD-Support Leader With Associates (LWA), to undertake an assessment whose broad objective is to provide USAID/Kenya with information, analysis, and recommendations on improving opportunities for youth across the USAID Kenya Country Development Cooperation Strategy. The rapid assessment of the Kenyan youth workforce and labor market aimed to assist in determining the best strategic fit for youth programming.

The assessment team was asked to identify and propose interventions that would have the highest potential sector and economy wide impacts that lead to generation of employment, better labor market outcomes and strategies for effective youth participation.

The assessment was conducted by a mixed international-local team with youth participation, and was the first of a series of labor market assessments to be conducted under Workforce Connections. The methodology builds on standard approaches to understanding labor markets used in the past by USAID, other donors, governments, and private organizations, with the addition of a more focused economic analysis which makes it possible to generate deeper insight into the drivers of skills demand.

Major report sections are as follows:

  • Overview: includes a brief summary of key youth employment challenges in Kenya.
  • Employment & Sector Analysis of Labor Demand: includes a review of economic drivers shaping employment opportunities for youth in Kenya. Based on this analysis, it presents a shortlist of economic sectors that have the highest assessed potential for generating youth employment (including entrepreneurship and in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), with an explanation of selection methodology and sector analysis.
  • Labor Supply by Target Group: focuses on the overall stock of skills and how those relate to employer demand for skills. Educational attainment stocks and flows and education system quality are key themes.
  • Mapping of Stakeholders and Workforce Development Programs: maps workforce development stakeholders in Kenya and how they interact, and provides an overview of workforce development programs in Kenya supported by the government and development partners.
  • Policy and Regulatory Reforms: reviews the policy and regulatory environment as it relates to youth employment.
  • Health and Youth Productivity: discusses the major health concerns particular to youth in Kenya, and how they affect youth productivity and employment.
  • Youth and Culture: discusses social and cultural factors leading to youth disempowerment.
  • Aligning Skills Supply and Demand: proposes an overall framework for program elements that would help align supply with demand for specific cohorts of youth.
  • Recommendations: synthesizes findings and recommends potential approaches to identify constraints identified.

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