Many companies laying of staff but all is not lost, the energy and ICT markets are some of the exceptions and seem to be hiring aggressively.
The Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking to employ 60 personnel to help in the licensing and supervision of the upcoming renewable energy projects across the country and related sectors even as the banking sector laysoff on shrinking revenues.
The ERC is opening regional offices across the country including Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nyeri and Marsabit to oversee the integration of renewable energy projects into the greed and supervise safety and environmental effects.
In an advert the state agency Wednesday said it would require experts in renewable energy, electricity, petroleum and gas, environmental, health and safety managers, alongside drivers and office assistants.
“We need a technical team to license projects and enforce our regulations in the planned regional offices,” said ERC acting director-general Pavel Oimeke.
Energy sector workers are second best paid in Kenya at an average of Sh121,998 a month, behind those in financial sector, according to Economic Survey 2017. This is also means that the projects being supervised on the ground are hiring even more and are looking for skilled workers.
A survey done by TIFA Research and Kenya Private Sector Alliance in April this year shows that the Energy and ICT are the most optimistic sectors of the economy at 67 and 63 index points respectively.
The Business Confidence Index was generated to measure the level of confidence that CEOs of various sectors have with the economy.
The sectors with lukewarm confidence are financial consulting services, tourism and manufacturing sector. In addition, the survey findings point out the least optimistic sectors as banking, MFIs and transport sectors.
The relatively optimistic Energy Sector at 67 index points can be attributed to the ongoing activities that are meant to improve the sector such as; plans to increase electricity connectivity to the national grid from 28% to 65% by 2022, introduction of the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP), among others.
Zero-rated import duty
More factors driving the bullish sentiments could be the zero-rated import duty and VAT exemption equipment and accessories for entities producing electricity via solar energy.
The forecast for Kenya’s ICT Sector is extremely favourable. With strong support from the government, the ICT industry in Kenya is expected to grow by 20% by 2017. In 2014, this sector grew with an impressive 13.4% and this shows a consistent upward growth trajectory.
Growth in the sector has mainly been driven by the mobile segment. M-commerce is expected to grow as it matures from Person to Person (P2P) transactions, to more business transactions.
There was also a 25% increase in internet connectivity within the country over the last 3 years, with fiber optics accounting for close to 97% of all ground internet connections.
Don’t miss: Why Energy & ICT CEOs are Most Optimistic
Other growing ICT jobs in the country are cyber security experts to help secure billions of shillings from both the government and the financial sector going to hackers every year. This personnel are high valued and attract good salary packages depending on their skills. This skills are however in short supply.
ICT sectors are also in high demand as government due to the opening of more huduma centres across the country even as county governments also seek to transform their working environments into modern work places and meet central government business standards such as transparent tendering and purchasing. Companies are also developing their IT departments to cut costs hence hiring IT specialists.
The startup ecosystem in Kenya is dominated by ICT and Fintech which means that more jobs are coming up in the segment but they are rarely advertised in the mainstream media.
Several banks are sending their staff home and cutting costs elsewhere as interest rate caps weigh in even as automation and ICT transfers those jobs to the companies installing the ATM machines and managing the servers and clouds.
This Bank Supervision Annual Report 2016 by the Central Bank of Kenya shows that at least 2,500 staff were layed off last year.
Supervisory staff went down by 628 in the period under review, while Clerical and secretarial staff declined by 1,988.