Kenyan Regional TVET Institutions Gets 5.5 billion Kenya shillings for training skilled workers
Five Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutions in the Country have received sh. 5.5 billion from the World Bank for training of skilled workers.
The project forming part of East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) at the tune of 220 million dollars is at the formative stage.
According to the Principal Secretary, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Kevit Desai the increased demand for skilled workers with enhanced technology, calls for improvement of Technical institutes to meet the international labour standards.
Dr. Desai noted that the EASTRIP World Bank funded project will see the establishment of five Regional Centres of Excellence (RCoE) in the priority sectors.
Speaking at Ngong Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology (KIHBT) Campus yesterday during a round table meeting with Highway Technology Stakeholders, the PS appealed for support of the project to ensure promotion of local skills and cut down on hiring of foreign labour in the construction industry and other selected sectors.
“This is an opportunity to improve our local building and construction industry by coming up with training standards which meet global competitiveness,” said the PS.
He noted that the Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) will bring all the stakeholders on board to ensure the much needed skills in the market is put into consideration before the roll out of the project.
Dr. Desai said the round table meetings will enable both local and international private companies in the construction industry to scrutinize and critic the program before it is approved for implementation.
“We must ensure the project meets the current market standards to ensure the students are well equipped with skilled knowledge based on need assessment,” he added.
He said the RCoE will provide a pathway for areas to focus on providing an inclusive industry that is gender sensitive, eliminate marginalization and create employment opportunities.
The working together of stakeholders both at the devolved unit of Government and the National Government will promote well-structured construction standards.
Similarly, KIHBT Director, Eng. Maurice Nabende said the highway technology has evolved over time and the improvement of training equipment and infrastructure is wanting in order to provide relevant skills in the labour market.
Eng. Nabende noted that the review of highway technology training courses will go a long way in building the capacity for the much needed skills in the local market that meets international standards.
“The highway technology is investing much in the latest technology that is demand based by both foreign and local contractors,” he noted. “We are going to engage the stakeholders in an effort to come up with a standard training curriculum for the regional funded project,” he added.
The Director said there is high demand for young skilled personnel in plant equipment operators and the current 100 enrolment per month is expected to double after the project is rolled out in September this year.
“This will translate to training of 2,400 plant operators annually who will be equipped with latest technology based skills for highway construction and building technology,” said Eng. Nabende.
On the other hand, World Bank Group Senior Education Specialist Ruth Charo called for the enhancement of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Kenya in the TVET institutions.
Charo said the curriculum will be incomplete without MSMEs training course to ensure the graduates are well equipped with entrepreneurial skills which is much needed for self-employment.
She said the coming together of stakeholders to engage themselves on round table meetings is to ensure the selected centers of excellence for VTT in Kenya produce graduates with relevant skills.
“We want to fully engage all the stakeholders throughout the process so as to get rid of half- baked graduates from all the TVETs joining the labour market,” said Charo.
She said past training curriculum has failed to meet international standards and developing countries are spending more in hiring foreign labour at the expense of the locals who are left jobless.
The selected RCoE institutions to benefit from the program includes: Kenya Coast National Polytechnic which will develop and train Maritime Technology Courses, Ken Gen Geothermal Training Institute which will train energy related courses, Kisumu National Polytechnic to develop and train Textile Technology Courses, Meru National Polytechnic to offer training in Building Technology Courses and KIHBT to develop and train in Highways Technology Courses.
By Nelly Kosgey