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County in Partnership with Sewing Company to Combat Youth Unemployment

Taita Taveta County Governor Andrew Mwadime flagged off the fifth cohort of the Sewing Machine Operator’s Course to address unemployment and poverty in the county.

A total of 150 students from the County are set to benefit from a two-month training program in Kikambala, Kilifi County.

Addressing the successful trainees, Mwadime pledged support and emphasized the need for partnerships with public and private entities to provide youths with practical skills for self-employment.

“We are doing this because we want to change our county. Let’s not be cheated. We need to focus more on skills even if you have a degree in whatever course, it doesn’t matter. I encourage all the youths to back it up with skills. Get even if it’s a certificate in plumbing, electrical connection, or masonry for us to move forward,” Mwadime urged the youths, thus, after completing their training, graduates are awarded certificates and are connected to industries for job placement after completing their training.

Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo advised the trainees to be focused and take advantage of the program to gain technical and soft skills, which will help them earn a living and change their backgrounds. “The county’s investments in youth are vital to our agenda of promoting self-reliance and resilience among our youths as well as to the goals of the nation on stability and prosperity that we all share,” said Kilalo.

On her part, Gertrude Shuwe, Taita Taveta County Executive Committee Member (CECM), echoed Kilalo’s sentiments and urged trainees to maintain discipline during training to achieve their goals. Shuwe argues that the apparel industry has provided job opportunities for the youth, but it often leads to vices and waste of life.

Speaking at Kikambala while taking the 150 youths for the two-month program at Mwembeni Technical Training Institute, Shuwe asked the investors to venture into Taita Taveta County, a move she said will help to alleviate idleness and bolster development amongst the youths.

Since the initiative’s inception, over 450 youths have completed training and secured job opportunities in various cloth-making Export Processing Zones in the Coast. Taita Taveta County has seen over 450 youth employed in the apparel industry, attracting investors due to its proximity to Mombasa port, SGR, human capital, land, Nairobi Mombasa highway, and Tanzania.

The program significantly contributes to employment creation and economic development, employing over 6000 people in shifts within the industry. Allan Wanjala, the Generation Kenya Coast region leader, highlighted that the eight-week program is a hands-on training program that equips trainees with technical and soft skills for the job market.

“We have already lined up employers who will interview the trainees for jobs upon completion of the training program. We also provide them with support and mentorship to guide them through the program and beyond,” he said.

He further assured the county government of Taita Taveta of their collaboration and that after 8 weeks of training the trainees will be ready as professional workers and operators. Wanjala added that they are ready to pilot a digital freelance program in the County where youths will be trained and start earning from online jobs.

The Generation Kenya program works closely with the national government and technical-based institutions such as Technical and Vocational Education and Trainings (TVETs) to equip youth with technical and employability skills. Since 2015, Generation Kenya has successfully employed 84% of its 13,000 graduates through a network of over 350 employer partners nationwide.

By KNA team

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