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Transcentury Group unveils a technical training program

By Standard Reporter | February 19th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA: Leading infrastructure investment company, Transcentury Group in partnership with the National and County Governments, has launched a technical skills training program geared at expanding Kenya’s technical skill base.

The program will see over Sh20 Million go into it in the first year as it rolls out in other parts of the country and the region. Benchmarked against the local Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy, it will be rolled out in conjunction with local Technical Training Colleges aims to bridge the industrial skills gap as part of the country’s industrialization agenda.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at the Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology, Transcentury Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gachao Kiuna said the pilot programme dubbed Transcentury Technical Training Program (TTTP) will be first rolled out in Kenya with expansion plans now underway, to other Pan African countries where the firm operates.

The launch of this programme has been inspired by a survey done by Technoserve, a Non-Governmental Organization that focuses on youth in eradication of poverty to identify industrial skills gaps and create a better understanding of Technical institutions and Vocational Training institutes

“As a key industry player Transcentury Group acknowledges that there is an existing gap that needs to be addressed, driven by the fact that over 70 per cent of our staff are drawn from the technical Institutions that we are now seeking to partner with, ” said Dr. Kiuna.

He added: “We recognize that the deficit in technical skills is likely to slow down effective implementation of major projects, like Kenya’s ambition to develop the recently discovered petroleum resource. However, as a solution oriented organization, our aim is to promote a knowledge-based economy to improve national prosperity and global competitiveness that will spur economic growth through this initiative.”

The TTTP pilot project will kick off at four institutions in the country namely; Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, Kiambu), Rift Valley Technical Training Institution (RVTTI, Eldoret), Kenya Industrial Training Institution (KITI, Nakuru) and Mombasa Technical College (MTC, Mombasa).

The programme will include the Transcentury Scholarship program which will be merit based to students in Electrical and Electronics and Building and Civil Engineering. There will also be annual internship opportunities across Africa in countries where Transcentury operates and offers infrastructure and Curriculum development support.

Currently, there are about 790 Technical, Vocational Education and Training Institutions in Kenya, 79 of which are public.

About 148,000 students go through the technical institutions in Kenya annually, compared to 568,000 who graduate from the 67 universities in the country, the low intake in technical schools, Dr. Gachao said, needs to be addressed.

“Research shows that youth unemployment levels in Kenya is at 67 per cent, yet 92 per cent of those unemployed have no vocational or professional skills. Therefore, encouragement for youth to enroll to technical schools will reduce drop out cases on completion of primary and secondary education,” he explained.

Late last year, the government established the Technical Vocational Educational Training Authority that will manage technical training institutions in the country in a bid to actualize vision 2030.

It also allocated Shs 2.5 Billion for the construction of technical training institutes in every county which will see about 60 vocational training centers built across the country as the State moves to plug a technical skill gaps that threatens Kenya’s industrialization ambitions.

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