The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the economy with Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge downgrading economic growth prospects for 2020 from 6.2% to 3.4%.
Domestic production and supply chains have been disrupted. Whole industries have been brought to their knees due to the restriction of movement. The major casualties being the hospitality and the transport industry and the less spoken about is the Jua Kali sector that employs hundreds of thousands of Kenyans.
Already the impact on employment is being felt with a recent report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showing that 21.5% of households in Kenya, who usually pay rent on the dates agreed with landlords unable to pay rent for the month of April 2020.Jobseekers queuing on Wabera Street, Nairobi, waiting to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.Daily Nation
Reduced incomes were cited by the majority (52.9%) of the households as the main reason for their inability to pay rent.
Companies have had to slash salaries and even lay off their employees as business has been greatly affected by the pandemic.
Perminus Wainaina, a human resource consultant, and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services spoke to Kenyans.co.ke where he explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had taken a toll on employment opportunities in the country.
"Some clients still have open positions, where they advertise, shortlist and carry out interviews but the successful applicants are not being given the offer letters. They are instead put on pending with the current situation," he explained.
"Despite the downward trend in many sectors there are certain industries that are still hiring," Wainaina noted.Perminus Wainaina, a Human Resource Consultant at Corporate Staffing Services, a HR Firm based in Westlands, Nairobi.Daily Nation
These are the industries that are currently hiring
There has been a bump in the purchase of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as bread, milk, dairy, and juice and that has seen an increase in sales for these companies.
"Companies dealing in the FMCGs including packaging have had a demand for their products increased so they need more manpower to meet that and so they have continued to hire," Wainaina explained.Workers at Kabiyet Dairies Company receive milk from dairy farmers in Nandi.Daily Nation
As more people opt to shop online, delivery companies are raking in a fortune for the service. At the same time, they are hiring more manpower to fulfill orders.
"We've seen delivery companies that are hiring now in terms of operational and warehouse managers, accounting to enable them to meet their demand," the human resourcesspecialist elaborated.
Some chain restaurants are hiring people to package orders and deliver orders.
A gamechanger likely to increase the demand for delivery services is the newly launched Facebook Shops where small businesses can easily start a shop to sell things directly on the app.
As companies shift to a more digital approach, digital marketing skills have become more marketable now. This skill encompasses online sales and marketing, social media management, customer support and delivery reports.
"Companies, as they seek to improve their digital footprint have requested for more digital marketers with specialised skills and not social media managers, but professionals who can manage their whole digital ecosystem," he explained.A representation of what digital marketing encompasses
At the same time, since businesses are realising the importance of having a digital presence they are investing more in keeping their systems online, for example, maintaining their systems for online payment.
"We've had clients advertising for IT specialists who will maintain the infrastructure and keep things running for them during this period," Wainaina stated adding, "most recently, a logistics company is seeking system administrators."
Online Coaching and Learning
Since schools are closed, tutoring opportunities are on the rise. However, not many teachers are familiar with the concept of online tutoring even as more families seek alternatives for their children.
"For the average teacher tutor, this is the time that they are learning. Even for someone to hire an online teacher it is very difficult to evaluate," Wainaina says.
Whereas hiring in the public health sector is currently being boosted by donor funding, private hospitals have had a lag in their profits and are cutting down on costs.
"On the contrary, the private health sector is bleeding. Companies have laid off staff. With that, people have lost medical covers, so they can no longer afford to visit clinics and hospitals.
"Elective surgeries have been suspended, specialties like ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and dentists are not working or have cut back. People are scared of hospitals for fear of getting infected and worse of all, the curfew has all but killed night visits," a medical practioner at Aga Khan Hospital explained.A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Employers' Terms During Covid-19
Wainaina noted that offers being made were still competitive but in reality it was an employers market in that there are more job seekers. In this case, employers have more bargaining power.
"Contracting in the past, employers were very comfortable with long-term contracts that were pensionable. People now will work with performance-based contracts or limited contracts," he added.
Alternative Jobs 2020
In this period, it is about adapting and finding ways to earn a living. According to a Kenya National Burial of Statistics (KNBS) report, a majority of Kenyans were likely to find jobs in the informal sector as 2020 advances.
The Economic Survey 2020 released on April 28, 2020, noted that the informal sector had created over 90% of all new jobs in 2019 (846,300 jobs) and thus that was the best bet for most Kenyans.
"With the shrinking job creation in the formal sector, the majority of the youth who exit from learning institutions and individuals who leave formal employment easily join the informal sector," KNBS informed.
Browse for the above and more job opportunities at Kenyamoja.com.child killed
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