Nairobi News


How demand for big pay is locking graduates out of jobs

Many university graduates price themselves out of the job market by making demands that exceed what employers are willing to part with, a study to be released today reveals.

In a country with a high youth unemployment, lack of experience works against fresh graduates.

Some 84.8 percent of employers sampled prefer hiring people they will not spend much on training.

Paradoxically, students who acquire experience before graduating tend to have a higher premium to companies, making them less affordable.

“Graduates who are more affordable have [a] higher employability rate compared to those who are too expensive to recruit on the account of higher wage demands, high costs of on-job-training, poor perception of courses and low university rankings,” the report by CPS International says.

While many take internship with companies and government agencies hoping to increase their chances of securing jobs, the study shows that only 26.1 per cent of employers look for such graduates.

Top on the list of employers’ expectations alongside work experience are skills, hobbies and talents.

Some 54.3 percent of employers also said the reputation and ranking of the university applicants attended has an effect on hiring.

While that might appear an added advantage, perception and prestige attached to some universities and courses make some graduates demand high salaries, making them unattractive to employers.

Some 87.4 per cent of students surveyed said employers should consider the relevance of the course to the nature of work sought.

They agreed with the employers on the importance of one’s hobbies, talents and skills.

On whether work experience of at least a month should be a considered when recruiting, some 48.8 percent of students opposed it while the rest felt it is important.

The percentage who felt that employers should also consider citizenship was 65.7.

From the findings, 19.1 percent of the recruits were non-Kenyan graduates with at least three-month experience as opposed to 10 per cent of non-Kenyans with no experience.

According to the study, some 56 percent of employers were satisfied that the new graduates met the skills and knowledge expected of them.

However, 33 percent of employers were not satisfied while 11 per cent were not sure.

In the last 12 months, some 57 percent of the employers who participated in the study worked with at most 20 graduates, 28 percent with 21-50, 13 percent had worked with 51-100 graduates and two per cent had worked with more than 100 graduates.