Kenyan youth who are interested in working in the manufacturing sector have an opportunity to be placed following the setup of an online database by local industry players.
The portal was developed by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)’s TVET program in partnership with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and is being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Education and all TVET sector stakeholders.
It is designed to contain details of potential candidates for several types of skill sets.
Speaking during the Job Summit at the 2021 Changamka Shopping Festival, KAM Chairman Mucai Kunyiha said that the local industry is convinced that this move will narrow the skills gap currently facing manufacturers in the country.
Kunyiha noted that KAM’s partnership with GIZ, technical training institutions, and the government is expected to enhance technical training among the youth, equip them with skills that are relevant to the current and future needs of the job market.
He also added that the Kenyan labour market is currently facing a major skills shortage, lacking sufficient roles such as professional welders, thence, hindering manufacturers from expanding and delaying investments.
According to Kunyila, the shortage of skilled workers was slowing down major production decisions within the manufacturing sector and thus a barrier to the creation of opportunities to absorb the 1.2 million people entering the jobs market in Kenya annually.
“We need to see the manufacturers producing goods. To do this, we need people with relevant skills. As technology evolves, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutes need to update their training infrastructure and adopt a futuristic teaching model that will also propel our people to raise their innovativeness,” Kunyiha said.
TVET PS in the Ministry of Education Margaret Mwakima added that demand and enrolment within the TVET institutions had grown more than four-fold due to the increased investment in the sector.
The provision of equipment and other ecosystem services within the sector, including access to student loans for TVET students has enabled enrolment to increase sharply to 249,316 students from 55,943 students.
Mwakima said the ministry was prepared to work with the manufacturing sector in the placement of trainees, incubation and skills enhancement.
She said the government has injected Ksh26.6 billion to support the TVET enrolments.
The PS said that quality training and industry responsive skills enhancement would become part of efforts to improve TVET education.
She noted that the government is in the process of carrying out a skills demand study to respond to the requirements of the manufacturing sector.
During the summit, the manufacturing industry players discussed the active interaction between the national economy, the industries and other factors of production.