MKU Pro-Chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho has challenged the youth to enroll in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a viable alternative to university education.
Gaitho says TVETs offer a wide range of opportunities for the youth to be self-reliant once they complete their studies.
“Supporting the youth to gain relevant skills is the only way to address unemployment and enhance entrepreneurship. We must be deliberate in creating these opportunities,” he added.
His sentiments were echoed by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Foundation, chairman Eng. Patrick Obath who called on the private sector to be at the centre stage in assisting the youth and the TVET sub-sector in general.
“Without a doubt the collaboration between the institutions and the industry in general will play a significant role in transforming Kenya into an industrialized, middle-income Country providing a high-quality life to all its citizens,” he said.
Obath also shared insights on the need to diversify secondary and higher education streams to create equity by investing more in education that guarantees equal outcomes saying the private sector should support growth of value chains for small businesses through outsourcing and providing professional services.
The two spoke during a recent virtual meeting held to celebrate this year’s World Youth Skills Day hosted by Egerton University with Gaitho urging the youth to be more aggressive in acquiring additional skills saying it will give them a head start in the job market.
Technical Services, and Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) director Stanley Maindi said there is a huge mismatch between what academia is producing and what the labour market requires.
“We have continued to have a shortage of relevant skilled manpower to power our economy. The existence of the authority is to ensure there is quality and relevance in what we are offering,” He noted.
Davis Waithaka from Elimu holdings said the private sector can provide support by investing in the ICT infrastructure in partnership with government, providing affordable financing and education – through provision of the specifications required from the small businesses.
“We need to have a structured engagement, both at the national and even at the county levels, so that we are able to continuously engage,” added Tom Mulati, Director of Technical Education, and Ministry of Education.
KEPSA Vice Chair of the Education Sector Board Chair Ms Priscilla Kerebi, said theboard tries to ensure that both perspectives from the demand and supply side of education converge to holistically tackle challenges facing the sector.
“The sector board advocates for policies that will not only improve the skills-set of our nation but will ensure both students from public and private institutions are optimally trained,” She said.