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Technical training institutions urged to support growth of regional economic blocs

The  Vocational  Training Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Kevit  Desai has challenged vocational training institutions to help spur growth of upcoming regional economic  blocs by encouraging innovation of cost efficient products.

The  PS  said  joint research among institutions  within the already established blocs is significant in seeking pathways to practical solutions to industrial needs of communities within regional economic blocs.

Dr. Desai urged the institutions to engage host communities in their strategic development plans in order to build expertise that can help meet focal technical needs for accelerated economic growth.

The  PS  was  speaking at a consultative workshop for Principals and board members of  Vocational  Training Institutions across the country in Nakuru town on Thursday.

He said technical institutions must position themselves in the take-off of regional economic blocs that now constitute clusters of Counties with common economic interests, saying the platform provides an inexhaustible market for skills than are requisite for jobs and wealth creation.

Seven  years  into  devolution, at least five regional economic blocs have been formed  namely: North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB)  comprising  of  North rift Counties, the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) bloc bringing  together Counties in Western  and  Nyanza Kenya in mutual relations in commerce, the Coastal  regional  and  the  central Kenya  regional blocs respectively.

He  advised the institutions to take advantage of the Ksh.2 billion research and innovation fund anchored on the competence based curriculum by developing concepts that will power the manufacturing and industrialisation agenda of the country.

Dr. Desai observed that a country that seeks to achieve the usually arduous industrialisation goal needs to enroll at least 10 per cent of its population in Science,Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based disciplines.

He  said the country was currently enrolling into the institutions 500, 000 youth annually translating to 0.5 per cent and urged principals and board members of technical institutions to help the government sensitise youth without skills on the need for enrollment.

“This  will help in scaling up annual enrollment to at least 1 million young people translating to 10 per cent by the year 2030 to leverage on the industrialisation and manufacturing agenda.

On  this score, Dr. Desai says as a commitment to competitive technical education sector, the state department of vocational training will be hiring 2,000 instructors in various technical disciplines next financial year for deployment in 58 public technical training institutions across the country.

The  Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutions (KATTI) trustee, Dr. Edwin Tarno  asked institutions to patent their innovations and improve them in accordance with the demands of the ever-dynamic local and global markets for increased income.

By  Anne  Mwale

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