The Government has renewed its commitment to ending youth unemployment by channeling a substantial amount of its resources to the regular training of thousands of jobless youth across the country on hands-on skills.
Arising out of a three-day “Hands on the Future” National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) conference held in Nairobi, it is estimated that to attain the various mega-projects under Vision 2030, the country requires at least 30, 000 technologists, 90, 000 technicians, and more than 400, 000 craftsmen.
It also emerged that most of these professionals will be developed through TVET as the country moves towards establishing a globally competitive and quality TVET system of education, training and research for sustainable economic development.
The conference and skills show which built upon the success of the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector in Kenya, has gotten the stakeholders pushing for, among other things, a shift to competency based vocational education and training.
And given that Kenya’s vibrant and youthful population is expected to play a key role in accelerating economic growth majorly through industry, Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the Government is investing heavily in technical and vocational training and education (TVET) among youth to arm them with the necessary skills to spur innovation, which is a key prerequisite for Industrialisation.
“TVET has been critical in the transformation of many economies and poverty eradication. That is why as a country we need to retool our economic and social policies to have and inclusive and sustainable economy. “
He said the State had already pumped up to Sh2.5 billion into revitalising technical institutions and is set to increase budgetary allocations to the sector in the next financial year.
However, noting the serious skills gap in the market, he said that the textile industry, for example, requires at least 20,000 machinists over the next 12 months.
But with a pool of highly qualified technical personnel, the Cabinet Secretary said Kenya would reap from a shift in global labour trends that is expected to see over 100 million jobs move from China to other countries as the cost of labour increases in the Asian economic power.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Kevit Desai, the chairman of the Permanent Working Group on TVET Authority, which organised the conference with TVET Authority, confirmed there are gaps for critical skills in the Kenyan economy, which need to be filled urgently to achieve sustainable economic growth in the not-so-distant future.
“We want private sector to work with academia to produce relevant skills while the government should provide enabling policy environment and funding, ” he urged.
BY MOSES OMUSOLO