Feature: Chinese firms resonate with Kenyan youth in search of career mobility

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-18 23:32:58|Editor: Liangyu
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College graduates visit the stand of TECNO at jobs recruitment fair for Kenyan students in Nairobi, Kenya, on Dec. 18, 2018. More than 20 Chinese and Kenyan companies on Tuesday held a day-long fair to showcase employment opportunities for local youth who have completed post-secondary education. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu)

NAIROBI, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Judy Miriti grew up in the central Kenyan highlands where her entrepreneur parents taught her the virtues of fortitude, ambition and passion to facilitate a seamless plunge into adulthood that is laden with uncertainties.

The 26-year-old diploma holder has for the last three years earned a living through sales and marketing but is determined to chart a new career path once she acquires a degree in finance.

Miriti was among hundreds of Kenyan youth who turned up for the jobs recruitment fair organized on Tuesday by the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi in partnership with Kenya-China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA) and the Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

The vivacious marketer told journalists that attending the job fair was a milestone since it enabled her to interact at length with Chinese enterprises based in Kenya and learn about their recruitment model for local skilled workforce.

"It is my first time to attend a career fair organized by Chinese companies and I would like to learn more about the attributes they look for while hiring local employees," said Miriti.

"There are many people out there who are ready to work for Chinese companies whose reputation for transferring skills to locals is quite inspiring," she added.

Miriti is currently doing sales and marketing for an indigenous food and beverages company but is open to switch careers that are more structured like administration and finance.

"So far, I have learnt about the thrills and challenges inherent in the marketing profession and would like to transit to formal careers once I am through with my undergraduate degree in finance," Miriti told journalists.

The third edition of job recruitment fair organized by the Confucius institute attracted skilled and talented youngsters who recently graduated from institutions of higher learning.

Joel Njogu, a 22-year-old ICT major at Nairobi's Zetech University that has a working relationship with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, said he was convinced that working for a Chinese firm would reward him enormously in terms of income and career growth.

"My friends informed me about this jobs recruitment fair and later learnt about it on our campus social media platforms. I feel honored to engage executives from Chinese companies and I believe they value local talent," said Njogu.

His course instructor who works for Huawei on part-time basis has been encouraging the ambitious youngster to consider attachment in a Chinese firm where he can hone skills in ICT.

More than 20 Chinese and Kenyan firms participated in the 2018 job recruitment fair held at the courtyard of the University of Nairobi to promote interaction among recent graduates and potential employers.

Wang Shuwen, a representative of KCETA, said that career fairs have become a critical platform for fostering interaction between Chinese enterprises and local youth searching for gainful employment and an opportunity to upgrade skills.

"The fair is an important step to promote employment of Kenyan graduate students," said Wang, adding that job creation will cement Kenya-China friendship while promoting economic growth and stability.

Isaac Mbeche, deputy vice-chancellor in charge of administration and finance at the university, hailed Chinese companies for their contribution to job creation and skills development in Kenya.

The elegantly decorated exhibition stands belonging to Chinese firms captured the attention of Kenyan college graduates keen to secure employment and become self-reliant.

Julia Wambui, a 21-year-old business administration and information technology major at a private university, said the jobs fair was an inspiration to local youth in their quest to cement ties with Chinese enterprises that have established a large footprint in Kenya.

"A good number of my friends who work for Chinese companies have confided to me that they are contented and have wide latitude to enable them to climb up the career ladder," said Wambui.

"I believe working for a Chinese firm has many benefits least of all a stable income, training opportunities and exposure," she added.

Duncan Miranga, a 30-year-old post graduate student in project management, said that he was keen to work for Chinese companies engaged in the implementation of mega infrastructure projects in Kenya.

"I'm aware that Chinese firms prefer hiring people with multiple skills and that is one area I have been working on to boost my employment chances," said Miranga.

"I would like to work in the construction sector where Chinese companies are strong," Miranga added.

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KEY WORDS: Kenya-China