Mining firm sponsors 24 youths to acquire vital technical skills

Eric Bulinda and Bryson Ambani leads their colleagues in process of looking for deposits of gold in river Isiukhu on September 16, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Base Titanium Limited has sponsored youth from 24 villages neighbouring its sands mine site in Kwale County to undergo training in various technical institutes.

The 100 beneficiaries from deprived communities will receive vocational and entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for job placements.

The programme was rolled out by the company last year to empower and motivate young people.

The initiative by the Kwale-based Australian mining firm is part of its social outreach programmes aimed at reducing unemployment in the area.

The company located in Msambweni is simply known as "Base" and produces ilmenite, rutile, and zircon.

Base Titanium General Manager for External Affairs Simon Wall says the training is the mining company's contribution to addressing socio-economic challenges in the coastal county.

Mr Wall said the sponsored 100 youth are drawn from 24 villages neighbouring the Kwale mine site in Msambweni Sub-county and would undergo training at various vocational training colleges within Kwale County.

"This is the second cohort of the training programme which we started last year to support youth to acquire skills in various disciplines, including engineering, carpentry and joinery, refrigeration and air conditioning, welding, masonry, mechanics, electrical and plumbing," he said.

Other courses include tailoring and dressmaking, catering, hairdressing and beauty.

He said the first cohort of 100 youths received the same training last year.

He said the training was aimed at creating job opportunities for unemployed youth.

Wall said the sponsorship covers tuition fees, transport, tools and equipment, and mentoring of the beneficiaries.

"The participants are getting the materials and tools to work with. Supporting people with skills will help them earn livelihood," he said.

Wall stressed the need for local youths to embrace vocational training and acquire skills to be independent and urged them to embrace blue-collar jobs as a sustainable alternative to the elusive white-collar jobs.

At the same time, the mining company is supporting community groups in Kwale to start sustainable income-generating ventures.

Wall disclosed that 35 community groups in Msambweni constituency had undergone training sponsored by the company.

He said the training aims to help women and youth start sustainable income-generating ventures.