The multibillion shilling private public partnership between General Electric and the government of Kenya to deliver better healthcare has a big component of it as hardware supply, most readily identified by the acronyms you hear the doctor or nurse throw about when visiting the hospital or other medical facility… MRI, CT Scan, ECG…yada yada.
While the sparkling new machines are welcome, the lifetime value is greatly at risk for the sole reason that there are not enough trained technicians to maintain the newly deployed infrastructure. Conversations with engaged parties put this need in the thousands, pointing to the biggest challenge yet as we blaze the trail of technology powered growth in the information, services and knowledge age.
A number of listed firms have under their foundations jumped into the education bandwagon for their corporate social responsibility programs, mostly focused on the secondary level of education. Granted, these programs are currently churning out hundreds of alumni who get ingested into the tertiary system only to be spat out unprepared for they dynamic marketplace along with thousands of others in their cohort. I am yet to hear of a half-baked secondary school student but the same is bounced easily off the tongues of many executives currently hiring while referring to the fact that most graduates are ill prepared for the rigors of the marketplace where they are expected to hit the ground running.
Investing in a sustainable tertiary education corporate social responsibility program is the key to meeting the technology talent needs that Kenya needs to power vision 2030.
The agenda here is not to throw money for the corporate feel-good high that well executed public relations brings
The agenda here is not to throw money for the corporate feel-good high that well executed public relations brings, but an almost selfish plan that every business for whom technology offers competitive advantage and value can ensure first pick of a primed talent pool that is ready to go.
Working hand in hand with tertiary institutions to refine curriculum, provide access to live work environments, projects and tools I dare say that 110 per cent employment can be achieved. The graduates being on the bleeding edge of industry from the exposure received will see a large volume get assimilated into the market directly via employment with the rest as probable entrepreneurs who go on to employ others.
Based on endowment, the programs will see compounded growth as the CSR monies do not disappear into a black hole, delivering a return on social that traditional models of engagement only dream of not to mention the cost savings on in-house training attributable.
We need to close this education gap to feed our talent requirements; both short and long term.