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Shifting the Job Narrative: Unlocking the Creative Economy for Youth Employment

Youth employment is undoubtedly one of the most discussed and important issues for governments, educators, private sector, and development actors around the world. All too often, however, the jobs that are available and recommended for young people are not leveraging their talents nor their aspirations and interests. The key drivers of economic opportunity today and the foreseeable future are often in backbreaking, risky, and repetitive labour including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and mining. This report, the result of a partnership between Global Development Incubator and the Global Apprenticeship Network, flips this narrative and starts with the aspirations and talents of the youth.

Leveraging a partnership with the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN; a global initiative for youth employment), the team focused on Kenya, which despite a growing middle class is witnessing a massive ‘youth bulge’ with a median age of 20.1 and an average of 800,000 young people entering the job market each year, with only 76,000 formal jobs created annually in 2019. The work narrowed in on one of the core GOYN communities in Mombasa. Mombasa is an urban city with a young population comprising 565,000 of the 1.3M population of whom over 40% are unemployed.

This report is structured to accomplish four key objectives:

  • Define the creative sector
  • Summarize youth interests in the creative field
  • Estimate creative job opportunities today and in the future in Mombasa
  • Outline recommended pathways for realizing these job opportunities