Manyatta Member of Parliament Mr. Gitonga Mukunji has launched a National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) funded scholarship programme for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses to equip school leavers with skills for self-employment.
The MP said in light of disappearing white-collar jobs, there was a need for a paradigm shift in exploring blue-collar jobs that involve greater degree of manual labor.
Speaking on Wednesday while issuing a cheque of Sh. 1.7 million for the first 67 cohorts at Manyatta Technical and Vocational College, Mukunji said technical education was one of the very few fields that assured sources of income to those who have gained proper technical skills.
He said the current job market in the country was in need of technical knowledge more than mainstream education that has for years been the in thing as many students saw themselves doing plum jobs that required brainwork rather than skills and inherent talents.
“For instance, for one civil engineer in the construction industry, you need support personnel engaged in tasks such as masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical works,” he said.
He said as the country transitioned into upper middle-income status, more and more students were inclined towards technical education that was key in nurturing and promoting independent workers and entrepreneurs.
The legislator noted that there were massive projects being undertaken by the government in the county that offered numerous opportunities for those with technical knowhow in related fields.
“In this constituency alone as we speak, we are this year constructing two state-of-art stadiums, close to 40 kilometers of tarmac roads and later will be launching an affordable housing project,” he noted.
He added, “all these projects will require a huge workforce of our young people with technical knowhow to be absorbed.”
He said the scholarship programme will be running every year to ensure many more school leavers and dropouts benefit and position them to scoop such opportunities whenever they arise.
The MP at the same time said plans were underway to establish a computer laboratory in the institution with internet in order to introduce and expose the youth to the world of online jobs.
The college Principal David Ngari lauded the project, saying it will go a long way in increasing the enrollment and retention of students as they won’t have to worry about how to raise fees.
“Our students come from the community around and some have had challenges of raising school fees forcing some to drop out, but this will be a thing of the past with this initiative,” he said.
ACK Diocese of Embu Education Secretary Dr. Jackson Ngari called on school leavers to take advantage of the opportunity to gain skills that will enable them to become their own bosses.
By Samuel Waititu