Strathmore University and WPP-Scan Group in Partnership to Boost Youth Employment and Enrich University Curriculum

Listed marketing and communications services group WPP-Scangroup has today signed a 5 year Memorandum of Understanding with Strathmore University that will see the group offer internship to over 200 students from the university contributing towards job creation. This partnership will allow for close collaboration between Strathmore, WPP-Scangroup and Google in developing a curriculum for a Digital Marketing course to be offered by Strathmore as a way of promoting technology incubation and growth in Kenya.

This MoU is aimed at providing a boost to the education sector, through a partnership with Google that will see the partners develop a curriculum for a Digital Marketing course to be offered by Strathmore University.

Set to commence in September 2015, the partnership is designed to provide internship opportunities for students that have completed their courses at Strathmore University.  A select group of new graduates will intern either in advertising, digital marketing, public relations and research enabling them to get skills and work experience under WPP Scangroup.

Speaking at the MoU signing, WPP-Scangroup CEO Bharat Thakrar welcomed the partnership saying that Strathmore is a reputable and world-class university with a spectacular Research and Innovation Technology Lab – @iLabAfrica. He said that hiring the best from the institution would ensure growth and sustainability in line with the group’s vision of developing marketing and communications across Sub Saharan Africa.

“Our aim is to provide students with skills and a sense of professionalism that complements their classroom knowledge. In addition to this, we would like to show the younger population that there are exciting opportunities available in Kenya as they venture into the work space”, said Mr. Thakrar.

The latest statistics from the Youth Employment in Africa conference held in 2014 revealed that Kenya’s youth aged between 15-34 years form 35% of the population and have the highest unemployment rate of 67%.

“Stabilizing the growing future workforce is essential for economic growth. The partnership with WPP Scangroup will see attraction and possibly the retention of the best talent that graduates from our university. This important initiative will ultimately improve the strength, relevance and competitiveness of Kenya’s younger workforce”, said Dr. Sevilla, Director – @iLabAfrica.

The MoU also provides for strong capacity building and knowledge transfer for Strathmore University through regular workshops and seminars with WPP-Scangroup.  Senior managers, experts, lecturers and students will have a platform to explore global and regional trends and insights in the digital, research and communication world providing current case studies to aid in tutoring.

Human Resource Managers in Kenya have recently noted that the skills acquired by college and university graduates often do not meet the expectation of employers.  Such initiatives will strengthen and scale up quality of graduates from Strathmore University.

We are very excited to be partnering with Strathmore and WPP-Scangroup to help them develop a world-class digital skills training curriculum, said the Google Kenya Country Manager, Charles Murito during the signing, adding that he was confident that the partnership would go a long way towards addressing the lack of skills in the digital marketing space in Kenya.

It is envisaged that this course will spur new ideas and innovations as more Kenyans understand and integrate Digital Marketing in business and commerce.

“We look forward to actualizing this partnership and WPP Scangroup will continue investing in partnerships that contribute to the growth of Kenya’s socio-economic fabric”, added Mr. Thakrar.

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