Toyota partners with TVET to up-skill Kenya’s Jua kali technicians
NAIROBI, KENYA, FEB 26 — Japanese car maker’s Toyota Kenya Foundation is counting its partnership with the Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority (TVETA) to expand skills to technicians in the automotive sector , mainly the informal Juakali sector.
Under its Toyota Service Technicians for the 21st Century (TST21) programme, technicians will benefit from technical skills within the informal automotive service industry, creating new opportunities for the youth.
The TST21 course provides mechanics with basic training on maintenance and repair, defect report writing and customer service.
The two phase training-course covers electrical, engine, drive train, chassis and body and paint basics with additional training in soft skills such as goal setting, financial management, creating an entrepreneurial mindset.
Speaking during the graduation of the first class of trainees, Toyota Kenya managing director Arvinder Reel said that the TST21 course is part of the company’s plans to increase the number of technicians and mechanics across the country, while at the same time creating employment opportunities for the youth.
“We continue to rollout various initiatives aimed at enhancing technical and mechanical skills. The TST21 is one such initiative aimed at not only enhancing the available mechanical skills, but also empowering mechanics within the Jua Kali sector,” Reel said.
“It is our hope that the 11 technicians graduating today will utilize their training to not only seek out gainful self-employment but also create employment opportunities and train other technicians within the Jua Kali sector,” he added.
The automobile industry has continued to record tremendous growth in the country, creating employment opportunities not on in assembly plants, but also mechanical, electrical and body works.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) the number of registered motorized vehicles grew to 2.84 million in 2016 up from 1.79 million in 2012.
In 2017 more than 280,000 motorized vehicles were registered, bringing the total number of registered motorized vehicles to over 3.1 million.
Toyota Kenya chairman Dennis Awori said the high number creates a large market for the service and maintenance industry, with KNBS indicating that there were slightly over 33,900 employees working within the sector in 2016.
Despite the demand for technical skills and the high rate of unemployment, most young people tend to shy away from technical training, a factor that TVETA hopes to address through the development standard of training curriculums in TVET institutions.
TVETA is mandated to regulate the TVET sector through licensing, registration and accreditation of institutions, programs and trainers.
TVETA head compliance and re-enforcement Osawa Ottah noted that the greatest challenge facing TVET institutions is the lack of equipment and qualified trainers.
“Toyota Kenya Foundation’s program fits in well with our vision and we hope to forge partnerships to not only train youth but also trainers of trainers to enable us scale up and reach more young people,” Ottah said.
Principal Secretary, TVET, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Kevit Desai said: “It is important for companies to partner with training institutions to ensure that the skills acquired by the training are relevant to the market. Such skills enable trainees to take up entrepreneurship and formalize the skills of untrained professionals.”
The TST21 program is open to youth between 18 and 26 years and offers entrepreneurial training with key skills in goal setting and actualization, communication and cash flow management.
The next intake will open on September 2018 and will target to train up to 12 technicians.
The Toyota Kenya Foundation’s ultimate plan through its partners is to impact JuaKali mechanics across all the 47 counties, the company said.
The foundation has been in Kenya for over 15 years and has four pillars – Health, Environment, Safety and Education.
Over the Years, the foundation has sponsored diploma students in colleges and polytechnics.
Following the opening of the Toyota Kenya Academy in 2014, The foundation offers training automotive, entrepreneurship, agri-business, farmer and operator agri-mechanization, construction kaizen and Japanese language and culture courses.