The government has expressed confidence that the ongoing trans-formative agenda for the Technical Vocational and Educational Training (TVET) institutions will deliver at least 1 million additional jobs for the youth by 2025.
The TVET Principal Secretary (PS), Kevit Desai said the government was in the process of equipping TVET centres across the country with adequate capacity to fast track this dream.
To attain this, Desai said the government was in the process of setting up centres of excellence in identified technical institutions across the country that will serve as the melting pot for imparting technical skills as well as innovation hubs for the youth.
At the heart of the centres of excellence sits master trainers with the government already spending Shs.8.6 million to train 24 such experts at the Sigala Gala institute who will later be dispatched to drive the training agenda in institutes across the country.
The master trainers and trainers are experts in distinct fields such as artisanry, craftsmanship, master craftsmen among other similar trades.
He said the technical institutions with their potential to produce huge pool of skilled human resource places the country at the verge of immense potential of attracting massive foreign direct investment and push the FDI margins from the current shs. 672 million to a high of sh.3.8 billion dollars.
“When the industries abroad see that our human capital is able to address skills to standards, research and innovation then their investment is secure and they are able operate not only in terms of competitiveness but also safety,” said Desai.
He noted that this would translate to enhanced productivity, innovation and efficiency in tandem with the tenets of the government’s flagship projects under the Big Four agenda for which the government intends to inject Shs.96 billion to bolster in the current financial year.
The PS reiterated that technical training was central to shaping the manufacturing component in the government’s Big Four agenda with focus to shore up the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from current 8.4 per cent to 15 per cent.
Desai spoke on Monday when he presided over the inauguration of the newly appointed Board of Management at the Kisumu National Polytechnic which is also set to be a centre of excellence besides 10 other such spread nationwide.
The PS applauded Kisumu Polytechnic’s privileged position having received a donation of Shs.1.2 billion courtesy of the World Bank that is targeted at setting up a textile hub through partnerships with local investors and Small and Medium Enterprises at the institution.
At the same time, he acknowledged challenges that the TVETS have faced in the quest to realize their respective objectives including an acute shortage of trainers especially due to the upsurge of students following the introduction of capitation by government.
However, he gave an assurance that the government was in the process of recruiting 3,000 more trainers to mitigate the shortage starting with 1, 000 trainers in the next three months and the remaining 2, 000 to be staggered at similar intervals.
He further cited the need for Public Private Partnership in areas such as putting up of hostels saying this would give more youth access to TVET.
In particular, he drummed up support from local communities and leaders to complement the government’s subsidized training with other funds like the National Government Constituency Development Fund to empower more young people to take up the technical training opportunities.
The PS registered his optimism that the newly appointed Board comprising a team of seven other technocrats and captains of industries would steer Kisumu polytechnic to greater heights.
By Milton Onyango