The National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) has been urged to work with other stakeholders and harmonize training standards and curricula in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), to cope with fast evolving technologies and end the mismatch of skills and industry needs.
Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Mr Simon Chelugui said Kenya will only achieve new industrialized status by 2030 if relevant skills are imparted in youth by Technical Vocational Educational Training Institutions (TVETs).
The CS stated that regular TVET curriculum audits should focus on all sectors, including agriculture, tourism, the blue economy and health and manufacturing will also ensure that more youth acquire skills that will propel them to self-employment.
He pointed out that NITA should team up with industry players and come up with guidelines that will inform development of standards and curricula that are relevant to industry requirements to ensure demand driven training.
“There should be a major shift in the way youths are trained and examined as it is not meant to create winners and losers or failures, but to show what areas individual trainees are competent in as they make their best contribution in their areas of specialization,” he stated.
Such a shift, Mr Chelugui noted, can only achieve a long-lasting impact if the process of designing syllabi and examinations is participatory; bringing together the training and examining institutions and stakeholders in the job market so that they can understand each other’s needs, expectations and obligations.
And with the disruptions caused by unforeseen developments like the Covid-19 pandemic, such collaborations, he said, should make the institutions more dynamic and responsive.
He spoke at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI) in Nakuru when he inaugurated Trade Tests for artisans in various specialties being conducted by NITA targeting 36,635 candidates.
Some 32,527 candidates will be assessed for grade3, a further 1210 candidates in grade 2 and 237 for grade one. A further 661 will be tested in proficiency trades.
Mr Chelugui noted that the future of TVETs in the country was promising as the sector has embarked on various reforms, among them the establishment of the new Competence Based Education and Training (CBET).
The CS added; “The curriculum is developed to respond to current Labour market demands and quick evolution of technology to solve the issue of unemployment in the country.
The government started by building the capacity of tutors at the Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) to the CBET so that they can be well equipped to roll out a massive pre-service and in-serving training programme for all trainers.”
The event was graced by NITA Board Chairman Dr Kamau Gachigi, NITA Director General Mr Stephen Ogenge, Director KITI Ms. Peris Adema and Nakuru East Deputy County Commissioner Mr Eric Wanyonyi.
By Jane Ngugi and David Opingo