Program to create jobs
Friends of Holland through the ‘Tools to Work’ Non-Governmental Organization have donated the first batch of 100 sewing machines in Trans Nzoia to boost vocational training programmes.
The sewing machines were part of the tools in the program in which the County Government of Trans Nzoia is partnering with Holland to boost vocational training that would see many youths acquire skills to help them be self-employed.
The program was meant to encourage innovation as well as enabling the graduates kick-start their own income generating activities once they are through with their training.
Speaking on Tuesday while inspecting the machines at Development Education Service Community Empowerment (DESECE) Centre where the machines were kept after shipment from Holland, the County Director of Vocation Education and Training (CDVET) in Trans Nzoia, Eliud Lusweti said that a pilot program would be done in Kiminini Sub-County, Kitale and Andersen polytechnics before rolling out to the entire county.
He said that under the program, trainees would be expected to pay Sh.17, 000 during their studies and once they completed their studies, they would be issued with the machines that will help them establish their own enterprises and be self-reliant.
According to Lusweti, his office conducted a Sewing Knitting Information Transfer’ (SKIT) training course last year that saw 16 instructors trained on how to handle and repair the tools that were both electrical and manual.
The tools would boost learning in the polytechnics besides increasing the quality and quantity of the tools, he said.
If well implemented, the program would prepare the youth to manage the high unemployment rate besides working towards achieving the Vision 2030 goals.
The Director said that the County Government started the program last year in preparation for the support from the Holland’s ‘Tools to Work’ Organization.
He explained that the Organization obtains used metals and recycles them into various tools before shipping to the country and donating to the County through a local Non-Governmental Organization.
In its website, ‘Tools to Work’ has a history of empowering the less fortunate in the society comprising of the youth, women and those living with disabilities.
The program was first rolled out in 2005 in Uganda and later extended to Rwanda and Tanzania.
The organization has since made inroads into Kenya through Trans Nzoia and youths were urged to take up the challenge and join polytechnics to benefit from the program.
The Director said that if the piloting program succeeds, the donor would increase the number of machines in different polytechnics in Trans Nzoia and other parts of the country.
He said that the Tools to Work NGO is using Decese local NGO to run the program in Trans Nzoia.
The program comes as a reprieve to many youths who have been grappling with soaring unemployment rates that have rendered them impoverished.
Most of them had a poor attitude towards polytechnics, associating them as institutions for the failures in academic.
He said that the County Government has also set aside 30 per cent of the County bursary fund to help students who are poor to access the program.
The initiative is dealing with sewing machines training where trainees are expected to undergo a two year vocational program after which they are given machines for start-up.
The same machines are going at Sh.78, 000 at the market price. The County has 28 Vocational Education Training Centers (VTC) spread across the 25 wards.
Recently, the County Government employed 140 instructors in the VTCs and equipped them with other training materials which include computers.
The County Governor, Patrick Khaemba, in a past function said that his Administration was consulting with Arabian countries where technical skills are on high demand to provide job opportunities for the youth from Trans Nzoia who learn at the VTCs.
He said that there was high demand of technical skills such as plumbing among others, saying that those who performed better during their trainings would get the advantage.
By Pauline Ikanda