Nairobi, KENYA: Barclays Bank of Kenya has unveiled a paid internship program targeting continuing university students and fresh graduates to prepare them for the world of work or entrepreneurship.
The bank will initially place 110 students to its various branches across the country and another 23 at select small and medium enterprises, bringing the total number to 133. Each group will be placed at the various work stations for a period of three months.
To qualify for the attachment, one must have gone through the Ready To Work Programme, the bank’s free online programme that provides students in institutions of higher learning with life, entrepreneurship and job skills requisite to enable them make a smooth transition into the world of work. We shall also give priority to the Barclays Scholarship beneficiaries.
Barclays is working with implementing partners for Ready to Work that include; the University of Nairobi, Strathmore University and Care Kenya who will help in identification of the qualifying students who then go through the screening process to select the right candidates. The pool of interns is a potential ground for talent for the organization based on merit.
The attachment programme is part of a wider Pan African initiative being steered by Barclays Africa’s Group CEO, Maria Ramos, to support the Education and Skills pillar of the shared growth agenda.
The shared growth agenda is anchored on three key pillars of Education and Skills, Enterprise Development and Financial Inclusion and takes the view that for the bank to prosper, society must prosper.
“As a bank, we are guided by the shared growth philosophy which recognizes that we operate within an eco-system. Our success is therefore intertwined with that of the communities we operate in,” said Jeremy Awori, the Barclays Bank Kenya Managing Director.
“It is for this reason, that for the last five years, we have invested nearly shs.100 million annually in our citizenship initiatives which primarily target Kenya’s youth with empowerment programs to prepare them for the job market either as employers or employees,” he added.
With the realization of the serious shortfall in the relevant skills gap, a number of Kenyan companies and organizations have kicked off internship and mentorship programs aimed at preparing students for the job market.
This is informed by a rising demand from the private sector for improved productivity from graduates.
“Providing education is not enough. What is important, and what generates a real return on investment, is learning and acquiring skills. This is what truly builds human capital. Without learning, students will be locked into lives of poverty and exclusion,” said Awori.