The government is turning focus to the provision of technical skills to reduce unemployment among youth. Speaking today at the beginning of the hands on the Future National TVET Conference in Nairobi, the Principal Secretary for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Dr Dinah Mwinzi, said the government was promoting practical training that would improve youth employability in both public and private sectors.
Dr Mwinzi said youth unemployment, which currently stands at 40%, can be reduced if most of the ‘hustling’ population had different technical skills. This will also accelerate achievement of Kenya’s aspirations on labour market needs for a middle-income economy.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training is one of the initiatives key in achieving Vision 2030, she said. It is estimated that to attain the various megaprojects under Vision 2030, the country requires at least 30,000 technologists, 90,000 technicians, and more than 400,000 craftsmen.
“We need highly qualified people to run Vision 2030 projects such as the SGR, LAPPSET and construction of airports,” she told delegates, adding that majority of Kenyans, at 80%, were studying humanities-based courses, leaving only 20% in science and math courses.
In the current financial year, the government allocated Ksh2.5 billion to TVET institutions and is expected to up the budget in the next budget. The government has shifted to demand-driven skills development with strong links between industry and academia.
The conference, organised by the Permanent Working Group on TVET, is aimed at stimulating interest in technical and vocational training. It will be will be followed by the Kenya Skills Show on Friday and Saturday. The Permanent Working Group (PWG) on Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Kenya was formed in 2014 and comprises nearly 100 public and private stakeholders involved in the TVET ecosystem.
TVET Authority Director General Dr Kipkurui Langat said the country’s TVET policy is to produce well trained and globally competitive workforce. “The delivery of quality TVET is an important consideration especially in engineering and science based courses, which are important catalysts for industrial growth,” said Dr Langat. He said over the last two and a half years, the authority has registered and licensed 589 TVET institutions.
TVETA is working with Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) and Linking Industry With Academia (LIWA) to develop Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) curriculum that involves evaluation of trainees based on their abilities to perform particular tasks.