Youth unemployment is a major issue that continues to plague countries around the world, including Kenya. According to the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) 2022 report, overall unemployment in Kenya is 12.7 percent, with youth (15-34 year olds) having the highest jobless rate of 67 percent, accounting for 35 percent of the Kenyan population.
Every year, over one million young people enter the labor field with no skills, some having dropped out of school, others finishing but not enrolling in college.Despite this grim outlook, technical institutions have emerged as bright spots, providing young Kenyans with the skills they need to prosper in the labor market.
In this article, we check out how technical institutions are playing a critical role in tackling this issue through our weekly radio feature #TVTLiveMtaani.
Empowering Youth with Market-Driven Skills
Elijah Mwangi, a trainer at Kenya’s Nyandarua Technical Institution, tells us that youths must choose market-driven courses in order to suit the needs of the industry, and parents must cease choosing courses for their children. He outlines some of the courses offered by the institutions that have had an impact on the students.
Cabro (block paving), Nyandarua technical takes students through the full process, from design and production to laying the cabros. The students have installed cabro in the institution by putting these skills to the test.
Another marketable course is electrical and plumbing. It is intended for students to obtain hands-on experience with electrical installations, wiring systems, and plumbing techniques. Construction firms have approached the institution in search of temporary/permanent personnel as a result of this.
The automotive course at Nyandarua Technical Institution prepares students to work in the automobile industry. Elijah Mwangi and his colleagues specialize in teaching students how to maintain, repair, and diagnose vehicles. This market-driven course prepares students for jobs in garages, car dealerships, and service centers.
Government Support and Policy Reforms
Recognizing the importance of technical institutions in combating youth unemployment, the Kenyan government has allocated Sh30,000 each student placed by KUCCPS in a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institution. A supplementary loan is also available by applying to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). Essentially, TVET students have a ready financial outlay that is more than adequate to meet the annual fees and other extraneous charges.
A comprehensive solution is necessary to tackle Kenya’s youth unemployment crisis and address the challenges faced by young job seekers. Technical institutions play a vital role in equipping young Kenyans with the necessary tools to succeed in the job market, thereby contributing to the reduction of youth unemployment and fostering economic growth. Don’t miss this informative discussion on #TVETLiveMtaani feature airing every weekday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7:20 p.m.