Kenyan youth are likely to secure gainful employment if equipped with basic life skills, according to MasterCard Foundation.

The foundation, which is sponsoring a youth empowerment initiative in the country, yesterday committed $10.5 million (Sh1.06 billion) funding to CAP Youth Empowerment Institute, which has so far trained 9,000 employable youth with saving and entrepreneurial skills. MasterCard Foundation programme manager Karen Moore said the success of the initiative has shown there is need to form innovative partnerships that will help “to create opportunities for all”.

“We want to help young people to earn and save, utilise peer networking and enterprise development support. The basic employability skills training model was established to test and support development of holistic approaches to deliver economic opportunities to disadvantaged youth,” she said.

CAP YEI chief executive, Ndungu Kahihu said more than 75 per cent of the youth are trained using the model access employment, and seven per cent start small enterprises.