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According to a recent survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), approximately seven million Kenyans are currently unemployed with 1.4 million desperately looking for jobs.
The report also shows that other 5.6 million have given up on job hunting.
The survey further indicates that nine in every 10 unemployed Kenyan are 35 years and below, with a great percentage aged between 20 to 24 years. The desperate unemployed youth are not engaged in any employment or business.
However, the unemployment rate for the entire population has come down to 7.4 percent from 9.7 percent recently. 19.5 million Kenyans are actively engaged in the labor market despite the majority of them being in poorly paying jobs.
A huge chunk of these has been credited to the hospitality industry.
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According to a Jumia Hospitality Report in 2017, the hospitality industry accounted for 1.1 million jobs which form 9 percent of the total formal employment. The sector also accounted for 313 million jobs (9.9%) of total employment globally.
The hospitality industry is labor intensive and, hence, a major contributor to employment opportunities.
The hospitality industry is a multifaceted sector which contributes to major employment opportunities in these few ways:
1. Travel and Tourism
Kenya is known for various tourist attraction sites including mountains, sandy beaches, national parks, museums and many more.
In 2017 alone, these attracted 1.4 million foreign visitors with 68 percent of them traveling for leisure.
This means that every visitor that comes into Kenya creates a job for someone with the ratio being 1:50 for local tourists.
The opportunities created by travel and tourism include flight attendants, drivers, tour guides, porters, tour consultants, travel advisors, reservationists among others. You can see more opportunities here.
2. Accommodation
KNBS survey further indicated that  187,000 East African residents stayed at Kenyan game reserves and lodges last year. 176,500 foreign residents also stayed in the country over the same period.
This means that more accommodation facilities (resorts, hotels, lodgings, vacation complexes, apartment hotels etc) are established to meet the rising needs. And as such thousands of job opportunities are created for many people.
Jobs in this sector require you to have people skills and top-notch customer service to attract good reviews and recommendation from customers.
3. Food and Beverage
Food and Beverage (F&B) is the most important component of the hospitality industry. Whether on vacation or business, people need to eat and drink. This is why a hotel or rental needs the services of a chef, waiter, bar attendant and many more.
And with the rising growth of hotels, such jobs are availed to provide excellent food services to the customers.
You can check out the latest F&B job vacancies here to apply.
In the end, it is evident that the hospitality industry is reshaping the job market in Kenya as a major contributor to employment opportunities. And by the end of 2018, the employment rate is expected to rise by 3.1 percent.
Source: Soko Directory
Tobias is a communication Assistant at Career Point Kenya. Email tobias@careerpointkenya.co.ke. Any comment? Leave it below.