Labour CS Simon Chelugui, has applauded the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) in Athi River Machakos County for offering Electric Automobile course that has employable skills in the labor market both locally or in foreign markets.
Speaking to the media during the official launch of the Hyundai Dream Centre at NITA, Chelugui said the automobile training contributes significantly to the global economy and is one of the main drivers of macro-economic growth and stability in the world.
The CS also hailed Plan International for establishing the project in partnership with NITA and Salvador Caetano Kenya, who have taken major steps to contribute to effective skills development for overall economic prosperity in the country.
The Hyundai Motor Company of Korea has equipped NITA with State-of-the-Art Hybrid electric car engine stimulators to enhance the automobile industry to modern standards.
“On behalf of the Government of Kenya, Ministry of Labor and NITA, we appreciate the support and partnerships we have enjoyed from the Republic of Korea, Plan International and Salvador Caetano Kenya, in seeing that NITA is equipped and developed into the standards we are seeing today,” said Chelugui.
The CS said the future of automobiles is electric and that electric automobiles are the fastest growing technology in the world.
“The future of automobiles is electric and what we have seen today is demonstration of that future. I am happy to have witnessed some of the electric technologies coming up,” added Chelugui.
There are around 50 students currently taking the course in NITA and among those are 22 ladies and 28 young men who have been sponsored by Plan International and Hyundai dream team.
The CS commended the female trainees taking up the men’s challenge, saying taking training in electric automobiles is an inspiration to more women to join and be marketable.
“I am excited that girls are taking up the challenge and are now going places by challenging themselves in what has traditionally been a men’s field,” reiterated the CS.
He noted that the world is driven by skills and resources which the country has such as machinery, money and manpower.
The CS insisted that manpower is the most powerful resource that a country can have and is available in the country, adding it is the route to changes in the country.
Chelugui pointed out that for such an economic transformation to happen, NITA has to supply to the industry, skilled workers, and that is why the Hyundai Centre is such a significant project.
“With skills and up-skilling of our young people, we can make this country better,” noted Chelugui.
He said that the Government’s ‘Big 4’ agenda and economic blueprint has identified the automotive industry as one of Kenya’s manufacturing sectors that will be key in the achievement of the country’s industrialization and economic transformation.
Chelugui further noted that although the automotive industry has continued to grow, it has had some challenges over the years, such as importation of used vehicles, lack of skilled labor force, low budget for research and development and slow uptake of new technology.
The Korean Ambassador to Kenya, Choi Yeonghan, hailed the bilateral relations between Kenya and Korea, noting that it has provided platforms that gives needy young women and men a social-economic opportunity to acquire and hone their skills.
“Korea and Kenya share some similar historical background. In Korea, Hyundai motor plays a big role in building the country’s economic growth and today it is an honor to be part of this initiative that seeks to uplift the livelihoods of young men and women in one of the most equipped automotive training and educational facilities in Kenya,” said the Korean Ambassador Choi.
Plan International Kenya, Country Director, Kate Maina Vorley, said that women and girls must challenge the perception that courses such as automotive engineering are for males.
“Women are the driving force in our economies and this programme will give them tools to unlock their capabilities in a male dominated industry. Though there are initiatives addressing unemployment, young women are still the most affected and far prepared for the labor market than their male counterparts,” said Maina.
The project is expected to benefit over 120 vulnerable young men and women, between the ages of 18-35 from across the country, as beneficiaries of a three-year sponsorship course by Plan International and NITA.
By Ann Kangero