Hyundai, an automobile manufacturer and Plan International, commissioned Hyundai dream centre, a modern facility at the National Industrial Training Authority in Athi River town.
The facelift of the facility also includes the renovation of the classes, auto care centre; motor vehicle mechanic and auto electrics workshop which is 80 per cent equipped and will be fully equipped by August.
The Hyundai dream team is aimed at enhancing the existing training facility for the automotive industry to modern standards and developing capacity for young men and women with entrepreneurship and employability skills in the automotive industry through industrial training.
Speaking during the launch, Plan International Director of operations Mr Patrick Ngenga said that, the Hyundai dream team centre project will address youth unemployment through enabling them to acquire technical skills in auto electrics and technical employability skills.
Ngenga said Plan International and Hyundai will sponsor 120 young women and girls between the ages of 18-35 years from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country, who will be enrolled in the nine month training course in motor vehicle auto-electrics.
“We are pleased to build capacity for our young women and girls who will change the perception that the automotive industry is male-dominated. This course will bridge the gap in skills that match the labour market needs,” noted Ngenga.
The Director added that though reliable partnerships with the private sector, the auto electrics trainees will also benefit from placements for industrial training attachment programmes hosted by various motor vehicle companies and leading garages spread across the country.
He said out of the 120 beneficiaries, the first 20 pioneer trainees are currently undertaking their industrial attachment and the training platform will not only empower them with technical and non-technical skills but also help them acquire good jobs to improve their livelihood.
NITA Board Director Mr Wilson Ngahu said the project will focus on transferring advanced knowledge and skills in Motor vehicle Auto electronics, technologies and increase employment opportunities for the youth.
“The project will boost the number of youth engaged in wage and self-employment and enhance efficiency in project management processes to facilitate start-ups among the young people,” added Ngahu.
Ngahu noted that since the government is implementing the Big 4 Agenda, NITA is committed in the realization of the National Development Agenda through manufacturing, skilled work force and updated curriculum to align the needs of the industry.
“NITA remains committed to its goal of leading Kenya to become an industrialized economy by 2030,” added the NITA Board Director.
Other Organizations who sent dignitaries to attend the launch are International Labour Organization [ILO], Federation of Kenyan Employers [FKE], Kenya Association of Manufacturers [KAM] and leading private sector players with an interest in quality industrial training.
The Hyundai dream centre project is a three year project funded by Hyundai Motor Company Korea. The project is implemented in Kenya by a collaboration of three partners led by Plan International Kenya, NITA and Salvador Caetano Kenya.
The Hyundai Dream Centre is among the seven dream centers in the world with presence in Ghana, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Peru.
By Ann Kangero