Government to scale up youth talent search, says CS Machogu

DP Rigathi Gachagua awards one of the winners of the African Technical Challenge Season 8 in Nairobi, on August 31, 2023. [DPCS]

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has said the government will scale up the search for talent among the youth.

He said the process will entail identifying outstanding participants in different skill areas and supporting vocational skills in graduates.

"In the rapidly changing world where technology is shaping industry and creating new opportunities, it is imperative that we give our youth the relevant skills needed to succeed in the current labour market," said CS Machogu.

Mr Machogu was speaking during the closing ceremony of the Inaugural World Skills Kenya National Competition at the Kenya School of Technical and Vocational Educational Training.

The event is also known as Olympic Skills Competition.

"As a government, we are committed to ensuring that youth acquire relevant skills by creating enabling environment that is innovative, support start-ups and embrace technology," said Machogu.

The CS said that even as the country continues transitioning thousands of graduates every year, the unemployment continues posing a big challenge.

"As a country, are we able to absorb all these graduates? We have invested heavily in education and we must get a return on investment, both as families and as a country," said Mr Machogu.

The CS noted that the Olympic Skills Competition will enable the participants to showcase their prowess in over 60 disciplines.

The demonstrations and exhibitions by students in both TVETs and universities are to celebrate and recognise exemplary skills and talents while providing a platform for the youth to showcase their expertise and passion in various skill trades.

"We will continue investing in TVETs and modernise our training facilities by collaborating with industries to ensure skills taught are relevant and creating pathways for further learning and growth," said Mr Machogu.

TVET Permanent Secretary Dr Esther Muoria said the ministry was reviewing the implementation guidelines and policy framework on Recognition of Prior Learning so that learners are given the correct competencies.

"The policy and guidelines will provide standards of assessing and certifying the skills and competencies acquired through experience,'' said Dr Muoria.


"This will enable our skilled, but uncertified youths to be awarded certificates based on individual competencies expanding their opportunities in employment and advanced learning," Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Dr Erick Rutto said.

''We are ready to offer a mentorship programme for the youth to enable them to test their skills and find market opportunities for their innovations,'' said Dr Rutto.

TVET Authority chairperson Florence Ngesa urged parents to change their mindsets over technical training institutions, saying they are not reserved for failures.

The event brought together diverse stakeholders for an exchange programme from different parts of the country focusing on creative art and fashion, manufacturing and engineering technology, transport and logistics, construction and building technology.

The winners will represent the country at the World Skills Competition in Lyon, France next year.

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