BPO/ITES training is a type of outsourcing that involves contracting the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions to a third party specialist.
Training will be offered at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) set-up at (UoN) and will seek to bridge the skills gap prevalent in the Kenya outsourcing industry.
Representatives from the private sector, public sector and academia, including the Kenya ICT Board and the Ministry of ICT, were speaking at the third BPO/ITES Center of Excellence roundtable breakfast meeting where they praised the progress made by industry players to roll out the training programme.
“Research has revealed that there is a mismatch between what is offered at the universities and what the industry requires. The course is supposed to sharpen the skills level of our students to increase their employability,” said Andrew Lewela, project manager, BPO/ITES Kenya ICT Board.
As Kenya positions itself to be the Africa ICT hub with massive investment in initiatives such as Konza Technology City, the need to address the skills gap is seen as vital.
This led the the ICT board to set up the partnership with CoE and other stakeholders to develop a curriculum and assessment tool using global standards supposed to impart skills for graduates in the BPO/ITES industry.
The ICT Board said the curriculum already has 20 trainers who have been prepared to teach the courses and 40 students are undergoing training on the pilot phase.
The self-sponsored training is expected to be industry driven come the end of the year with 5,000 students expected to benefit each year.
With an estimated 5,000 BPO/ITES students with “cutting-edge” skills expected to graduate each year, the meeting enlisted stakeholders to support and offer internships and employment to the CoE graduates once they complete the training.
Tejpal Bedi, chair of the Kenya Information Technology and Outsourcing society, said: “We will drive KITOs members to offer employment to all the trainees in the pilot program. We will also consider sponsoring students for the CoE program in future.”
Professor Elijah Omwenga, the CoE Project Leader and lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said: “There is need to create employment for the youth by extending ICT knowledge to the region.”
He also indicated the need for a body which will offer certification to those undertaking training such as KASNEB or KNEC.
Students with a minimum A-level certificate will make the cut of the three-month certificate course. The training will focus on imparting essentials skills in critical thinking, communication and technology.