NIC Bank administered an aptitude test for 2,278 college students at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. The students, who were selected from different local and international universities across the country, undertook the test as part of the selection process for the NIC Bank University Internship Programme.
The number of applicants for the internship programme has more than doubled this year when compared to the 1,112 applications received in December 2015.
“The two-fold increase in the number of applicants demonstrates the growing profile of NIC Bank as an employer of choice for the youth,” said Monica Kihia, the Human Resource Director at NIC Bank.
NIC Bank’s internship programme aims to tap into the youth’s talent and creativity to not only give the bank a competitive edge in the market, but also present the youth with an opportunity to access stable and fulfilling careers.
“In just one year we have had 75 interns, many of whom have been retained in full time entry level jobs in line with the branch expansion,” remarked Kihia.
NIC Bank has expanded its branch network from 27 in the beginning of 2016 to the current 33.
All successful recruits will receive comprehensive induction into the bank and acquire mentorship, coaching, branch exposure and project delivery opportunities in the different departments.
NIC Bank’s initiative to create employment for the youth comes at a time when youth unemployment in Kenya has soared to alarming levels.
Unemployment among Kenya’s youth is now estimated at 17.3 per cent compared to six per cent for both Uganda and Tanzania, a World Bank report released in March 2016 indicates.
Kenya created only 128,000 formal jobs in 2015, according to the recently released Economic Survey 2016. In contrast, the number of graduates from universities and colleges stands at more than 450,000 annually.
“The huge mismatch between job opportunities and graduates joining the job market underlines the need for more proactive recruitment policies such as the ones we have embraced at NIC Bank” said Kihia.
NIC Bank’s University Internship Programme comes hot on the heels of the University Innovation challenge, which was launched by NIC Bank in November 2016 in partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) Kenya and BRCK Education at Nailab Nairobi.
The innovation challenge, which drew over 150 participants, was aimed at fostering innovation among the youth in the areas of financial inclusion, financial literacy and practical financial solutions.
The bank’s engagement with youth and students is part of its broader efforts to improve the quality of education and innovation in Kenya. “Education is one of the strategic pillars under our corporate citizenship agenda,” concluded Kihia.