New training plan to create jobs among youths

Embu Glamourland Technical and Vocational Training Institute students graduate with certificates and diplomas in full cosmetology, hair dressing, life skills and counselling psychology on Friday. Ministry of Education is working on a program of making graduates better equiped. [Photo: Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

Students studying for diplomas and certificates will spend half of the course duration on attachment.

This is after the Government embraced the German dual training system that contains extended and mandatory industrial training to mould a more skilled work force.

This means that those enrolled for a three-year diploma programme will spend one-and-a-half years on industrial attachment.

Three months

By extending the practical attachment period from the usual three months at most, the plan will ensure that graduates from middle-level colleges have the requisite skills to increase their chances of securing jobs.

Education experts have been faulting the current system for not giving enough practical skills to diploma and certificate students before graduation.

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) Director General Juma Mukhwana said the new system would see all Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students attached to industries for mandatory internships that will be scored to form part of the overall grading.

The dual TVET system, which is supported by Germany, was launched in Nairobi this week.

Implementation is facilitated through the German chamber of commerce and industry (AHK) in partnership with local colleges and industries.

Dr Mukhwana was elected co-chairman of the dual TVET system in Kenya. 

He said the system marked a new dawn for training in Kenya and appealed to institutions and industries to embrace it.

“The KNQA is working with stakeholders to domesticate the curriculum and tailor it to local needs,” he said.

Trainers at the Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC) have already been trained in the new system.

Mukwana said industry players would also be trained in supervising and scoring students during attachment.

He said the mismatch between training outcomes and market demands had denied many graduates job opportunities.

Competence levels

“This has been holding the country back. The new system will increase competence levels and employability for our graduates," he said.

He said KNQA would support the new training plan, which has already started in a few disciplines such as repair and maintenance of mobile devices.

The Kenya Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 stresses that skills development among graduates can expand employment for youths and women.

The document states that the major challenges to youth employment in Kenya include lack of required skills and inadequate training for mid-level technicians and artisans.

“With an estimated gap of about 30,000 engineers, 90,000 technicians and 400,000 artisans, the shortage of mid-level technicians and artisans is hampering the country’s economic growth,” says the document.