The Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology (KIHBT) has signed a cooperation agreement with the County Government of Taita-Taveta, aimed at offering youth with skills and capacity building on professional expertise of road and commercial constructions.
Speaking during the signing, Wednesday, the Deputy Director of KIHBT, Architect, Geoffrey Githiri, said the collaboration between the two parties would contribute towards youth and contractors from the Coast region benefitting immensely, from practical skills in the road construction sector.
The Institution would also act as a regional base to train experts and contractors from other countries in the East African Community in line with strengthening ties within the roads and building sectors.
“Our Institution is keen on developing the skills in the road sector as part of our wider outreach programme in terms of skill development within the country and the region,” said the Architect.
He pointed out that the main role of the County Government is giving the necessary support as the main facilitator and that the co-operation agreement spells out the role to be played by both parties, in achieving the overall mandate of capacity building.
“We are going to work together with the County Government to enable us to build the skills required for the construction sector, as well as addressing the skill set needed for other infrastructure sectors in civil engineering and the crafts,” he said.
Githiri added that the institution is involved in teaching the East African skills of transformation and regional integration which is part of their major objectives in improving employability of youth in the region.
He further noted that over the past years, the institution has expected individuals to pursue the trainer to gain the relevant skills. Therefore, they are making a point of coming out of the traditional training basis and instead reaching out to the trainees to be able to achieve the government’s core mandate in building skills for the country.
“Giving access to the general population and the youth is part of our wider agenda so as to equip them with skills that will make them marketable in the region,” he said.
Taita-Taveta will be a focal point to the region as neighbouring counties will be able to congregate and gain skills from this base. This is attributed to its strategic position in the region.
Governor Granton Samboja noted the deficit in skilled contractors in the county as he pledged full support for the initiative that will see the residents receive relevant skills in construction plant mechanics.
“Maintenance of construction machinery in this County is a challenge, we need some type of training to be able to contract skilled machine operators in future. We hope to identify youth interested in different fields in each ward and equip them with the relevant skills,” he said.
Other such initiatives have been set up in Kajiado, Kisii and Laikipia counties as part of the institution’s outreach initiatives.
The duration of training will depend on the specific programme taken and the trainees who will be examined, assessed and certified at the end of the programme. This will enhance their level of skills and give them a competitive edge in the job market.
By Raphew F Mukuyia