Our Alumni are Navigating the Employment Landscape post-Covid
In our commitment to measure our results, we conducted a comprehensive survey of our alumni. This survey sheds light on the achievements gained and challenges encountered as alumni navigate the employment market in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the respondents, 65% are currently earning an income, while 35% are in transition/seeking employment. This 65% employment rate is noteworthy as it surpasses the national average of 63% as of the fourth quarter of 2022 despite our population’s youthful composition, with youth unemployment usually higher than the population as a whole. This marks a significant improvement compared to the pre-COVID data from 2019, where our alumni unemployment rate was 45%, compared to 62.6% for Kenya.
The survey reveals a blend of job stability and mobility over the past 12 months. Notably, 59% of respondents have maintained a consistent job, 17% reported a temporary absence from the workforce; while the remaining 24% had changed jobs more than once.
Within the cohort earning an income, roles are diverse. A commendable 49% are engaged as full-time employees, 14% have part-time roles, and 11% show entrepreneurial spirit as business owners.
Income distribution further underscores the success of our alumni. Astonishingly, 58% surpass the Kenyan legal minimum wage of 20K (Kenya Shillings) per month, enabling them to elevate their families and communities. About 42% earn between 10 and 19.9K, while 19% report earnings within the 30 to 49.9K range. And 10% earn over 50k Kenya Shillings per month.
Our alumni have a 52% engagement rate in formal employment (signed a contract with an established organization), while others are in the informal (casual labor or gig work) sectors or as business proprietors. For those within the formal sector, the ways our alumni have secured employment are diverse. A majority, 57%, found their positions through referrals, while 19% used online applications and job websites.
A wide range of industries employ our alumni, with a significant percentage employed in the NGO sector (21%). In the formal sector, industries employing our alumni include hospitality, hotel management, and beauty and personal care. We find it impressive that 36% of respondents hold managerial positions, with a commendable percentage (95%) overseeing teams of more than two individuals.
Respondents reporting informal employment mention referrals as pivotal in securing roles. Within the informal sector, 57% hold supervisory positions, and 23% have been promoted in the last year. A cohort of 13 respondents claim to be self-employed entrepreneurs, with 23% having at least one employee. Only 3 out of 13 have formal business registrations thus far, reflecting the newness of their enterprise.
For those in search of opportunities (35%), the challenges they cite range from limited capital (for the self-employed) to a scarcity of viable prospects in the formal sector.
The survey captures the narratives of our alumni, showcasing their resilience, determination, and dedication to success in the post-Covid era. We believe our results are representative, as 158 alumni (80%) participated out of a potential 198. The strong response rate indicates that our alumni place a high value on sharing their experiences, insights, and journeys.