Safaricom Foundation will fund at least 3,000 youth during a technical vocational education and training (TVET) programme over the next two years. The foundation has set aside Kshs. 132 million for the programme to be disbursed over the next two years. It will see information communication technology (ICT) enabled skills centres set up across the country.
The pilot phase of the programme will be implemented at the Waithaka Technical Training Centre through a partnership with the County Government of Nairobi, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).
“The programme will focus on entry level training for four key areas within the construction industry namely : welding, plumbing and electrical engineering,” said Mr. Stephen Chege, trustee, Safaricom Foundation, adding that the funds will be used for students’ fees, teacher training, setting up smart classrooms and construction of state of the art workshops.
An analysis by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) shows that employability for people with technical and vocational education and training is at 96% compared to 40% among those with a university degree. Despite this, there is an acute shortage of manpower with technical skills especially in : masonary, welding, automotive engineering, plumbing, carpentry as well as animal husbandry.
Many people entering the job market prefer white collar jobs which are less laborious compared to the blue collar ones. This unfortunate trend has contributed to the high level of unemployment among the youth in country and to reverse it, there should be a roll out of more TVET programmes. “Of greater concern is the fact that most graduates are neither ready for the job market nor do they possess the technical know-how that would help them run their own businesses or create employment. This highlights the clear gap between the market needs and the technical and vocational skills available in Kenya which we aim to address,” Mr. Chege emphasized.
The TVET Centres will provide best practices in manpower training, effectively addressing emerging skills gaps, aligning training with industry needs and engaging industry, government and corporates for a holistic skills ecosystem