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Go for vocational courses to improve employability, beat joblessness-experts urge youth

Technical skills are the best shot to addressing joblessness among youths and steering the country’s economic development, experts have said.

They maintain that parents and youth must explore Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a viable alternative to university education noting that technical skills are playing a pivotal role in transforming Kenya into an industrialized, middle income country.

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Led by Gorgeous Technical Institute Director Jackie Kibutha, the experts and stakeholders called on youth across the country to go for the highly marketable world skills including fashion and design, electrical installation, welding, plumbing, hospitality, hairdressing and beauty and entrepreneurship among others to enable them meet the high demand of specialists in the country.

Ms Kibutha while speaking to journalists in Thika town noted with concern that the country is facing a shortage of skilled manpower to power the economy adding that this creates a noble opportunity for unemployed youths in the country to acquire the vital skills and secure jobs.

She hailed the Kenya Kwanza administration led by President William Ruto for its efforts in seeking job opportunities abroad for the Kenyan youths saying that exportation of skilled labour will help boost technical training in the country.

Kibutha also rooted for partnership between the government and the private sector in promoting vocational skills in the country by assimilating trained youths into the job market.

For the government, she highlighted the roles such as providing digital infrastructure, providing procurement opportunities and financing or payment frameworks, as well as friendly policies to facilitate entrepreneurship.

She at the same time challenged youths studying in technical colleges to be more aggressive in acquiring additional skills such as business management and computer studies so as to have a head start in both the job market and in seeking self-employment.

Ann Kibe, a trainer at the institution echoed similar sentiments saying that technical knowledge among youngsters is the surest way to alleviate the joblessness crisis in the country.

She noted with concern that the unemployment crisis has compelled many youths to indulge in drug abuse, a challenge that requires urgent interventions.

The trainer also asserted that equipping youths with technical skills will keep them away from drugs and substance abuse.

She also challenged graduates with degrees to enroll for technical short courses to improve their employability.

Kelvin Makumi, a student pursuing hairdressing and beauty at the institution noted that he decided to enroll for the vocational course after tarmacking for years despite having graduated with an IT degree from a local university.

Maryanne Nyangweso, another student, called on her peers to stop the over-reliance on white-collar jobs and instead pursue the technical courses with an assurance of securing a job or initiating their own income generating ventures.

Kinyungu Kithendu
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