Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES)

What's New?

Applying PYD Principles in Youth Programs: Early Learnings from YouthPower Projects

Webinar for USAID and youth program implementers, July 26, 2017.

Giving Youth a New Chance in Kenya

Interview with Silvano Ateka, Communications Officer, Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES) by Maria Brindlmayer, Senior KM Specialist, YouthPower Learning. 

Read the full interview here.


Short Documentary about the Program

Prime Implementer

Research Triangle Institute (RTI)

Implementing Partners

Key Partners:
International Rescue Committee
McKinsey & Co.
Land O’Lakes International
Mobile Accord
SSG Advisor

Implementing Partner:
Research Triangle Institute

Project Timeline

2015 - 2020

Project Goals

Enhance the employability of Kenyan youth
Increase wages and self-employment for underemployed youth who have not completed secondary school
Increase youth workforce competitiveness
Increase private sector engagement in and development of youth employment programming and job placement

Brief Background

The majority of Kenya’s population is under the age of 17 and struggling to find meaningful jobs. The youth employment challenge presents a clear set of opportunities as the vast youth bulge moves into its productive working years. The K-YES Program will give motivated but disenfranchised youth the skills and support they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. Skills and vocational training that are designed in coordination with local industry and the private sector will create pathways to employment and turn the youth bulge into a demographic dividend.

Overview of Activities

K-YES targets under or unemployed youth (ages 18-35) who have had primary or some secondary education.
Objectives include:

  • Improved technical and vocational skills of youth participants
  • Increased business skills
  • Improved effectiveness of market/employment information, career counseling, mentoring, and job placement
  • Youth awareness and utilization of financial services
  • Gender equity
  • Sustainability through partnership

Expected Impact:

  • K-YES has set ambitious goals. By the end of program, 30,000 young people in the nine target counties will have improved market-relevant job and business skills. Fifty-four workforce service providers will have increased capacity to provide sector-specific trainings in response to market demands.
  • Seventy percent of participants will be employed within the first six months after completing the vocational training program. More than 300,000 youth will gain access to youth-friendly financial services, up-to-date youth labor market information, and youth mentorship networks.
  • Finally, over100 new public-private partnerships in key sectors will be established in the nine target counties to accelerate the goals and overall impact of the program.


Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES) Program
Joyce Wafula
Research Triangle Institute
Email: or
Tel: +254 72 222 4183