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Program to equip 6,000 Kenyan youth with industry-ready skills unveiled



Insufficient skills among young people to match industry needs has been cite as one of major contributions to the high rate of youth unemployment in Kenya despite thousands graduating from institutions of higher learning each year.

A new initiative dubbed Dual Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Program now targets to equip youth with practical skills through industry training and mentorship in order complement training at TVET institutions and increase their chances of employment in the private sector.

The program launched by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für  Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) targets to help match businesses with the right skill set and result in improved productivity and retention rates for their employees.

“I acknowledge with commendation, the key role played by our international development partners from the Governments of Germany and Finland through the GIZ-Project, which is supporting the implementation of a Dual Training Program in TVET institutions from an initial pilot of 7 institutions to an increased target of 60+ plus institutions by 2026. It is through this collaboration that so far, dual training has taken shape in 26 institutions, with 265 industries onboarded and 513 trainees’ capacity built in Nairobi, Coast, and Western regions,” said Dr. Esther Muoria, the Principal Secretary State Department of TVET.

With financing from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ), the Dual TVET  program seeks to equip over 6,000 Kenyan youth, including 40% women and 1% persons with disabilities, with skills to enhance employability and contribute to Kenya’s economic growth.

The government is also seeking to increase TVET enrolment from 180,000 students currently to 1 million through a Ksh 29 billion allocation to equip young people with necessary skill sets needed for the future.

“We live in a dynamic world where for example technologies such as Artificial Intelligence have disrupted a lot in the industry. Hence a call for flexible approaches that change with time. The private sector should therefore be in a continuous dialogue with the institutions of education to exchange ideas on how the labour market needs to adopt as well as the relevant skills. This will not only benefit the young people and students but rather is a cost-saving mechanism for businesses as they get to access quality and refined talents, saving on the cost of retraining at the organizational level,” added Matts Weurlander, Counsellor for Skills Development and Job Creation at the Embassy of Finland.

KEPSA Director of Youth and Jobs Dr. Ehud Gachugu further emphasized that industry and education must walk hand in hand to ensure our youth are equipped with the skills needed for their success, benefit to businesses and the economy at large.

Data by the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates that young people make up majority of unemployed estimated at 2.97 million last year.

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