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Gov’t to enhance industry-driven skills development for youth

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The government in collaboration with various representatives of industries, civil society, and development partners, is engaging in transformative reforms to revitalize the National Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) sector.

These reforms, according to the Government, are necessary to reshape the TVET landscape to address labour market demands.

Speaking during the National TVET Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Ezekiel Machogu said that TVETs play a pivotal role in arming young people with essential skills, tackling youth unemployment, and enhancing the competitiveness of Kenya industry.

Machogu acknowledged that each year one million young individuals enter the labor market and that these bright and eager minds hold immense potential but they require the necessary skills and training to excel in an ever-evolving world.

“The responsibility for equipping young individuals with the essential skills they need to thrive, addressing the youth unemployment, and ensuring social-economic stability within the nation lies primarily with the education sector, notably TVET,” stated Machogu.

However, he maintained that it is equally vital for companies and business membership organizations to play their role in the skill development of the country’s youths.

“Only by shaping TVETs in partnership, can we collectively cultivate a competitive and employable workforce. This effort is not just a responsibility but also a vital interest for both companies and the nation as a whole,” noted Machogu.

Unfortunately, the sector presently struggles to meet the demand of the labor market and according to the CS, this difficulty primarily arises from a lack of practice-oriented training and inadequate industry engagement in TVET content development and the actual implementation of training programs, therefore, the critical role the industry -TVET linkage plays is bridging the gap between education and employment must be recognized.

“I am delighted to highlight the youth employment and TVET Project, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education of Germany and Finland. This project is actively supporting the Ministry of Education in introducing Dual TVET which not only provides a platform for industry-relevant TVET but also emphasizes Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET),” disclosed Machogu.

Concurrently, the Finnish ambassador to Kenya, Pirkka Tapiola said that a key strength of Finland’s education system, including TVET, is that teachers are highly educated, well respected, trusted, and strongly committed to their work since teachers are the backbone to the society

Tapiola stated that people with disabilities face a lot of challenges in accessing education including TVET, which means they are often excluded from work and employment.

“Therefore our joint project aims to encourage younger men to enrol in technical traditionally male-dominated vocations, and increase access to TVET for persons with disability,” he urged.