KENYA – Diageo’s local operator Kenya Breweries Limited has unveiled about 300 youth and women graduates from its vocational training and entrepreneurship programme dubbed Heshima.

Heshima is a local training initiative aimed at equipping youth and women from across Kenya with entrepreneurial skills at the same time tackling the issue of unemployment among target groups.

Participants are trained in entrepreneurship, tailoring, motor mechanical applications, hair and beauty, plumbing, electrical applications and catering.

The graduates came from Nairobi, Kiambu and Nakuru counties while phase one of the programme targets 10 counties seen as highly susceptible to illegal, informal and illicit trade in alcohol.

Addressing youth unemployment

Commending KBL for the Heshima initiative which helps a great in addressing the youth unemployment burden, Principal Secretary for Youth and Public Affairs Dr Francis Owino said: “Many African countries are grappling with the burden of youth unemployment.

For us in Kenya, the weight is heavier considering that we are a young country with a median age of 19 years.

Our ministry is however working towards offering sustainable solutions to them.

It is amazing to see programmes such as Heshima, which complement what we are doing as a ministry towards youth empowerment.”

“I am delighted to see a corporate recognise the importance of technical training in promoting economic growth and job creation.

I believe that our collective efforts will go a long way in establishing a strong pool of skilled youth and give young people a way out of poverty and vices such as crime and illicit brews that stem from it,” he added.

The move strengthens the brewery’s lead in providing the youth and women with vital skills for employment and income generation.

It reiterates its commitment building thriving communities while fighting against sale and consumption of illicit alcohol.

KBL in collaboration with its mobilization partner, Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AIRD) graduated the first batch of 89 Heshima beneficiaries in May this year in Kisumu County.