GIZ launches demand-oriented vocational skills training

GIZ is piloting a demand-oriented vocational skills training that will see young people attending technical training institutions participate half of their school life in the industry.

The initiative is in response to companies having to retrain fresh graduates, which is costly, takes time and leads to frustrations by the young people for failing to secure jobs in the labour market.

“There is no better investment than helping a young person to develop their abilities. Our model of skills-building incorporates an in-company training plan with the TTI training plan to offer the student a deep industry exposure,” said Horst Bauernfeind, Programme Manager of the Promotion of Youth Employment and Vocational Training programme at GIZ.

A statement from GIZ explained that through the implementation of this competence-based education and training model that encourages stronger collaboration between technical training institutions and private sector companies, students will spend 50 per cent of their time in TTIs. The remaining 50 per cent will be used to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in class, in an actual work environment.

The trainees whose career objectives are directly related to the job will be integrated in the day-to-day work in the partnering companies. It will also allow training institutions to create strong partnerships with industry and offer them continuous access to diversely talented and highly motivated technicians, ‘made in Kenya’ and tailored to the industry needs.

In parallel to the GIZ support, German Financial Cooperation via KfW supports these pilot institutes with new workshops and state-of-the-art training equipment in the relevant areas to make the practical training a hands-on experience. The financial and technical cooperation for the first phase is approximately $28.4 Million in total.

Lauding the delivery approach, Hon. Zack Kinuthia, the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education noted that the future is TVET. “Germany has excelled in the TVET sector and we are glad to partner with them. This pandemic has disorganized formal work. No technology is going to replace skills. At best, technology will complement skills. As we celebrate the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) 2020, I call upon the youth to come, register, train using high-flying technology, hone their skills and change the world.’

The commemoration of WYSD 2020 is happening in an extremely challenging context. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown measures have led to the worldwide closure of TVET institutions, threatening the continuity of skills development. In Kenya, the nationwide closure of educational/learning institutions disrupted learning and training for over 430,000 TVET trainees. They are now home – mainly because practical skills and work-readiness aspects that are typically the hallmark of TVET training are challenging to deliver remotely as they require the use of equipment or materials that are institution-based.

With the Ministry of Education planning to re-open TVET institutions in September this year in strict adherence to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for containing the virus, Hon Kinuthia was upbeat affirming, ‘The training institutions are putting in place measures to curb the spread of the virus including flowing water, access to hand sanitizers and provision of face masks at subsidized costs.’

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