[Kenyan Chapter] Understanding the Disconnect Between Skills and Jobs in Africa using NLP

Local Project Machakos, Kenya

Coordinated by the Lead of Kenya, Kamau Esther ,

Status: Upcoming

Project Duration: 07 Dec 2022 - 24 Jan 2023

Partnership.

Project background.

There is a rising trend in unemployment within the country, which has led to the witness rise in crime in our counties. We have also witnessed many young people voicing their frustrations on social media platforms after failing to secure jobs despite securing a degree in a certain field.

In this challenge, we aim to bridge the gap that exists between skills and the jobs available in the market using AI.

The problem.

We want to better understand the disconnect between skills and jobs in Africa, particularly digital skills.

According to the AfDB, Africa’s youth population is expected to double to over 830 million by 2050, but currently, out of Africa’s population of nearly 420 million aged 15 to 35 years, one-third are unemployed, another third are not secure in their jobs and only one in six is in wage employment. More youth than ever are graduating from schools and universities, but are not finding jobs.

Why? The social problem we want to help avoid is youth becoming discouraged and turning to militancy, insurgency, and risky illegal immigration. The potential impact is better alignment between skills youth are attaining and the skills that employers need, which will lead to more and better jobs, fewer people facing poverty through unemployment, and greater human well-being across the continent.

Project goals.

We envision an AI solution that can aggregate various public big data to help better assess the demand and supply of jobs and job seekers. Ultimately the outcomes can influence curriculum, learning approaches, public-private partnerships for job training, higher education policy, and industrial policy.

The AI solution can compare supply data from unemployment data, graduation data, jobs data, etc., and demand data from at online job postings, numbers and types of private sector companies in specific sectors, etc. to identify gaps or skills mismatches. It can also be used to compare skills training offered online, apprentice programs, and on-the-job training opportunities.

Finally, the AI solution can use sentiment analysis and natural language processing to have a better understanding of how companies, schools, and individuals feel about the education they receive, the jobs available, the skill levels of job seekers, and policies that incentivize greater skills/jobs alignment.

Project plan.

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