Close to 1,000 young people are expected to benefit from a Ksh 130 million Safaricom Foundation investment towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) with a focus on Plumbing, Welding, Food and Beverage and Electrical Engineering.
The investment will see Safaricom Foundation partner with Zizi Afrique Foundation and TVET institutions to set up an ICT enabled Skills Center in Nairobi and also sponsor students in other institutions across the country over the next two years.
“With this investment, we are going to ensure that we have put in place a sustainable infrastructure for youth training, improve instructor training capacities, access to training opportunities in employable areas, institutional capacities and finally increase transition to employment. Our aim is to support quality participation in TVET,” said Stephen Chege, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
Waithaka Vocational Training Centre will act as the model center with Safaricom Foundation establishing a TVET model ICT enabled Centre of Excellence. The Foundation will also sponsor 200 students at the centre to undergo training and later place them in jobs.
11 other institutions from Nairobi, Marsabit, West Pokot, Mandera, Isiolo, Kwale, Narok, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Kisumu and Vihiga have also been identified targeting over 500 beneficiaries.
“Kenya is a very youthful country. Data shows that 80% of Kenya’s population is below 35 years. We, however, have 97 % of youth who say unemployment is their biggest problem. We believe that such investments can help alleviate this challenge,” Chege said.
An analysis by the Higher Education Loans Board shows that employability is at 96 % for people with Technical and Vocational Education and Training compared to 40 percent among those with a university degree.
However, TVET participation remains low with enrolment standing at only 60 %.