Aerospace company Boeing and Digital Divide Data (DDD) have partnered to launch an aviation-focused employability program for Kenyan youth. Boeing’s collaboration with DDD spans 16 years, during which they have provided job skills training to 1,000 young people in Kenya.

The program, which was launched in March this year, will continue through December, and consists of four cohorts. The first two cohorts completed their training in late April. This year, the program will reach 160 high school graduates aged 18-24 from various regions of Kenya. 52% of participants are women, and more than 5% represent individuals with special needs.

Each cohort is undergoing intensive training in employability skills for two months. This includes customer service in the aviation industry, basic computer skills and knowledge of Google Suite and Microsoft Office, communication in the workplace, and general awareness of how artificial intelligence and machine learning are applied in aviation.

Graduates who excel will have an opportunity to secure internships or entry-level roles with aviation companies in Kenya or DDD as entry-level associates. DDD associates can obtain a certificate in the aviation field through the scholarship program, paving the way to start a career in this dynamic sector. To boost the program, national courier Kenya Airways is exploring opportunities to tailor training modules and provide internships or entry-level roles for the most successful graduates, enhancing the program’s impact and relevance.

Speaking at the launch, Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, and Central Asia said, “The African aviation industry is booming. We forecast that Africa will need over 1,000 new aircraft and 69,000 aviation professionals to support that growth over the next 20 years. It is imperative we act now to prepare and inspire the future generation of aviation professionals in Africa. We are very proud to launch this impactful program with our partners, DDD, to empower African youth to kickstart fulfilling careers in our industry”.

Also speaking on the program, Allan Kilavuka, MD and CEO of Kenya Airways, said, “We are dedicated to advancing Africa’s air transport capacity and capabilities. Through collaboration with Boeing and DDD, we’re tackling economic disparities by empowering young people to pursue careers in aviation.”