President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a rapid expansion plan for technical colleges.
The President said 70 new colleges that are in different stages of completion, once commissioned, would accommodate 100,000 more students.
He said the Government's plan is to have at least 50,000 learners in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the next five years.
This year, the President said, the Government has allocated Sh500 million in tuition fees for students joining the technical colleges.
At least 400,000 students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2016 but did not score the C+ university entry grade are expected to join the technical colleges.
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"An additional 70 TVET institutions will enable us close the critical skills gap. It cannot be that we have too few artisans and technicians compared to engineers," said the President.
The move, he said, is to increase access to skills-oriented programmes that will enable the over 16 million youth establish themselves as job creators and not seekers.
He cited various Jubilee-led programmes among the Youth Development Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and Uwezo Fund that has aided disbursement of Sh15 billion since 2013 aimed at assisting the youth set up businesses and be independent.
"We have to leverage on the capacity of the youth, their dynamic force and capital in their potential to steer the country's development agenda," he said.
He was speaking during the commissioning of the second cohort of 10,000 youths who will be joining different colleges across the country through the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation 2jiajiri Programme.
In the first programme, over 2,000 youths were trained across 114 colleges where 500 now own businesses, 270 are in paid internships and 1,500 are in the process of setting up their own enterprises.
Currently, there are 64 TVET colleges in the country with 140,000 students.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said majority of Kenyans view university degrees as more prestigious than getting a diploma in a technical college.
Out of 50,000 vacancies in various TVETS in 2016, only 12,000 students applied leaving 38,000 places. Some Sh104 million in tuition fees was not utilised.