460 ICT and engineering students have started familiarising themselves with Government and private sector operations as they get ready to start a 12 month management trainee programme in different public and private sector offices.
The 400 management trainees who were recruited through the Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP) were taken through a one-week induction programme at the Kenya School of Government. The trainees will go through a three-week orientation process in different Government offices, a two-month internship at private sector companies and thereafter be deployed to different Government offices across the country, including County Governments.
Joe Mucheru, CS, Ministry of ICT said the move the one year programme is aimed at getting ICT and engineering students from local universities ready for the job market. PDTP, whose implementation started last year, is also geared at deepening the use of ICT in Government operations with a view of enhancing service delivery.
“Kenya’s ICT sector has posted phenomenal growth for a number of years now but the talent pool has not kept up with this growth. The programme aims at increasing the pool of job ready graduates for both Government and private sector, which will save substantial training costs for both public and private sectors,” said Mucheru.
Mucheru spoke recently when he officially opened the one-week induction at the Kenya School of Government.
He also called on the private sector to offer more placement opportunities for students that have been taken up in the programme, noting that both Government and private sector stood to benefit.
“For the programme to succeed and ensure that there is adequate manpower for both Government and industry, we need to come together and partner. If we can all appreciate that PDTP will be beneficial, both Government and private sector players need to come forward with more attachment opportunities for these students. We need more mentors, training opportunities and certifications,” he said.
Industry players have in the past decried the high costs of training graduates to ensure that their skills match the industry requirements. They have also noted that the more experienced and skilled professionals tend to be snapped up by competition, local and multinationals, which in turn pushes up the cost of human resource retention.
This is the second lot of students that will go through the programme. The first batch, made up of 100 students, completed their internships earlier this year and are set to graduate in the coming weeks.
This year, 846 applicants out of a total of 4,200, were shortlisted for interviews of which 400 applicants were selected to constitute the second cohort of the PDTP programme for the 2016-2017 period.
Robert Mugo, CEO, ICT Authority said there are plans to incrementally grow the number of trainees being recruited through the Programme.
“Going forward the programme aims to increase the number of PDTP fellows annually until 2020,” he said.
The Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP) is a 12-month ICT Management Trainee Programme for ICT and Engineering University graduates, and is implemented through on a Public Private Partnership model. Graduates get an opportunity to experience private sector business practices, understand government and public service, complemented with mentorship and professional certifications.
This achieved through two key aspects – Leadership (developing CIO-type leaders in Government by equipping them with ICT business principles for managing ICT) and Internship (training freshly qualified graduates on live government ICT projects over 12 months period).