NAIROBI, APR 16 — Kenya’s technical and vocational education stakeholders are converging in Nairobi this week to review the country’s progress in implementing programmes aimed at creating jobs for the youth.
The one day forum organized by CAP Youth Empowerment Institute Kenya (CAPYEI), will bring together stakeholders from private sector, government, TVET institutions, universities, development partners, not-for-profit organizations, youth and other stakeholders.
Themed “Supporting TVET Reforms in Kenya” , the workshop to be held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies this Friday will review the findings of the past one year, while setting an agenda on best practices to implement in order to improve the sector.
Last year, CAPYEI contracted research firm Right Track Africa to explore and evaluate the effectiveness of its capacity building skill development in government vocational training centres , a report which will be shared at the forum.
“We are calling on fellow practitioners like us who have a passion for the youth to come and look at the outcome and the opportunities that can be taken up,” CAPYEI Executive Director Ndung’u Kahihu told the Exchange in an interview.
“The conference will give us an opportunity to show some of the work we have been doing in building the government TVET sector,” he added.
According to Kahihu, the forum will also be used to train trainers of vocational centres in the country, which will help bring change in the institutions.
He noted that though the job market has opportunities for the youth, there exists a huge skill gap to meet the employers demand.
This is as a result of a poor education system in the country which has failed to give the youth the right skills for the jobs.
“Most of the institutions use models that have worked in the past but do very little to update them. This has led to a mismatch in the skills needed by employers,” Kahihu said, “Many leave training institutions hoping to get a job but end up frustrated.”
The workshop will hence offer a platform for networking and generating ideas for enhancing partnerships and collaboration to improve the sector, he said.
The event, to be graced by the Technical and Vocational Training Principal Secretary Kevit Desai, will go a long way in supporting the government’s efforts to increase enrollment in TVET.
The government has in recent times turned focus to the provision of technical skills to reduce unemployment in the country, especially among the youth.
A United Nations Human Development report released last year noted Kenya’s unemployment rate had risen to 22.2 per cent.
The government is promoting practical training to improve youth employability in both public and private sectors, which currently stands at about 40 per cent, and can improve if most of the youth had different technical skills.
This is spearheaded by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), a State Corporation established under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Act 2013.
The Friday event will also offer the youth an opportunity to showcase their works and also give stakeholders an opportunity to appreciate and give critical feedback to the exhibits.
A not-for-profit organization focused on training out of school youth in job entry level skills,CAP YEI has been instrumental in supporting end-to-end transition by linking learning and livelihood for youth.
It uses Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST ) model, which ensures disadvantaged youth acquire life skills, relevant labor market skills, savings education and small business development.
It also facilitates disadvantaged youth access internship and job opportunities through institutionalized public-private partnership.
CAP YEI has created an extensive network of more than 35 centers across Kenya and engages over a thousand employer partners from different sectors.
Since 2011, CAP YEI has been able to reach over 30,000 youths both directly and indirectly where 77 per cent have successfully transitioned to jobs, while about eight per cent have become SMEs.
TVET remains key in accelerating achievement of Kenya’s aspirations on labour market needs for a middle-income economy.
During his inauguration speech last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta said an additional 1,000 small and medium- scale enterprises will be created in the agro-processing sub-sector.
To create more job opportunities, the Jubilee government has set its eyes on among others, the textiles and apparel, leather processing, construction materials and Information Technology sectors.