Technical training critical in overcoming effects of COVID-19

The Government will enhance technical training among the youth to equip them with the necessary skills to overcome the negative effects of COVID-19.

State Department for Youth Affairs PS Charles Sunkuli, said new opportunities have emerged in the IT sector, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), new global value chain models while diverse services such as deliveries have brought numerous job opportunities.

Sunkuli noted that the training will also go a long way in supporting the ‘Big Four’ agenda as it will assist in streamlining national policies on employment.

“New skills, including soft and digital skills are in demand with the pandemic making it necessary to streamline some national policies on employment,” The PS said as he urged the youth to be flexible and creative by using the COVID-19 crisis to generate new knowledge.

Speaking at the Kenya Technical Trainers’ College (KTTC), during the Youth Africa Works forum 2021, Sunkuli said that government has developed Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the country but some have not been operationalized since there are no trainers.

“We have done so well in providing the facilities, but now we have a wondrous duty to provide adequate support in terms of training by providing the tutors themselves am hopeful that a major gap in the development of the skills program in Kenya for the youth is now underway,” said Sunkuli.

The PS said that together with the Mastercard Foundation under the Youth Africa Works they have focused on youth employability which is in tandem with the Ministry of Youth Affairs mandate.

He said that the Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) is linked to the capacity building of Kenyan youth and women and equipping them with technical skills to provide key support to the ‘Big Four’ and digital sector.

“The pandemic has highlighted the large digital divide between regions depending on connectivity. While 65 percent of students in high income areas were taught via the video lectures, only 18 percent from low income backgrounds were able to keep studying online and this shows that Covid-19 is not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis,” Sunkuli said.

The PS said a research has shown that one in six young people often women have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic.

Sunkuli said that the Kazi Mtaani programme which has been catering for 273, 000 youths from July 2020 is training them on basic entrepreneurship, life skills, Access To Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) and saving culture which has tremendously changed the lives of the youths.

“The programme trains the youth on post Covid-19 survival and the youth have been able to save over Ksh10 million with our partner Post Bank and started small and medium businesses, while forming groups in readiness to access the Affirmative Action Fund,” said the PS.

He added that Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), have offered a moratorium to the youth and the turnaround time by which to access funds has been reduced.

  

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