Linkages to enhance graduate employability

Linkages to enhance graduate employability

Twelve (12) Kenyan Universities and over 10 companies in financial, manufacturing, transport sectors, participated in a forum at Mount Kenya University to exchange ideas on how academia and industries can bring synergies in training in imparting employability skills to students to prepare them for the dynamic job market.

The two day initiative which was themed “Synergizing Skills: Bridging Academia and Industry for Career Excellence” took place at Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre ,MKU Thika Main Campus and was supported by DAAD through the African Centre for Career Enhancement & Skills Support (ACCESS), a five-year project spearheaded by Leipzig University,  and jointly implemented by a consortium of six African universities in IRGIB Africa University, Benin, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, Mount Kenya University, Kenya, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, INES-Ruhengeri, Rwandan and University of Tunis, Tunisia.

The event drew participants from, Karatina University, Kabarak University, Kenyatta University, Riara University, Daystar University, Technical University of Kenya, KCA University, Zetech University, Machakos University, Technical University of Kenya, Riara University, The Luke Hotel, Thika, Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Magfre Ltd, BIC East Africa, HACO Industries

Simon Gitau, Super Metrol Thika Road operation manager welcomed the initiatives and said that the students always think that the transport industry entail the buses they see on the road ferrying passengers but there is a lot in terms of human resource management and technology development from the software’s that they use to track the buses usage and to collect and manage the customers feedbacks. He welcomed the move by the Universities to go to them to know their market needs. Another participant, Trizah Wainaina, the customer service manager at Equity Banks, embraced the service learning concept, and also suggested incorporating service etiquette training in university curriculums.

Mount Kenya University joined the ACCESS program which is hosted in Germany. Through the program the University has been able to host academia business breakfast meeting and visit many industries with an aim of identifying the skills that they hire so as to equip the students with the said skills.

The ACCESS program supports students Career enhancement, research activities, university-business linkages and service learning. Through the discussions the representatives engaged in deep discussions on how they can use technology to develop students skills.

The following topics were discussed in details:

  1. Professional Development and Lifelong Learning
  2. Strengthening Research and Career Enhancement
  3. Technology Integration for Career Advancement
  4. Career Excellence Through Skill Synergy (SL Measure)
  5.  Building Effective Industry Partnerships
  6.  Social Networks and Career Advancement in HE:

We urge the universities and industries to come together and help each other to develop/ review curriculums with an aim of meeting the market demand.” Dr. Henry Yatich, ACCESS MKU Coordinator. “ we also request our students to obtain soft skills such as communication and presentation skills that are available online to make them more competitive on the job market”.