I take this opportunity to join other stakeholders to congratulate the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) as it launches its new Strategic Plan 2019-2023 as well as announce 9001:2015 ISO Certification.
HELB has been a great partner and consummate service provider to the TVET sector in Kenya, especially now when the State agency is in the process of sourcing for funds to lend affordable loans, offer bursaries and scholarships to thousands of students pursuing different programmes in our TVET institutions.
A fortnight ago HELB came handy to support and be one of the sponsors of the just concluded second edition of the Hands on the Future Kenya Skills Show organized by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) together with Permanent Working Group (PWG) on TVET.
The skills show, which was held between 8 th to 10 th February 2019 at the KICC, was a huge success thanks for the support from other government agencies like HELB, development partners, corporates and NGOs who have made a singular resolve to support the TVET sector in Kenya.
The unforgettable three -day skills fair surpassed our targets by attracting a record attendance of over 20,000 young Kenyans and parents who had keen interest to interact with best practices and innovations in the TVET Sector.
The Kenya Skills Show 2019 featured hands-on exhibits from TVET institutions that allowed participants to touch, taste, see, feel and hear opportunities in the TVET sector. There was also a rich menu of inspirational talks for sceptical students and parents, free career counselling services, seminars and entertainment galore that gave young musicians and artists a platform to showcase their skills and appeal to members of the public.
Allow me to use this opportunity to thank the Cabinet Secretary for Education Amb. Dr Amina Mohamed and Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Prof. Margeret Kobia for gracing the occasion, together with other senior government officials and other invited guests from the corporate world and development partners.
I wish also to acknowledge all our sponsors who provided funding and in-kind services and the over 140 exhibitors and careers professionals who put the best foot forward to make the skills fanfare to etch an indelible mark of those who attended the event. Finally, I cannot forget the enthusiastic school children, from both primary and secondary schools and hundreds of young Kenyans who showed up to be part of the nation’s biggest skills show and careers event.
The second edition of Hands on the Future Kenya Skills Show has been an enthralling eye opener that has now galvanized our resolve at TVETA, together with the Ministry of Education and our partners in the Permanent Working Group to make this annual event an even bigger show stopper in the education sector calendar.
The fruitful three-day event has given us a chance to learn and reflect on how to take skills to all regions of our country so that no-one is left behind as the government goes out of the way to come up with training opportunities to fill the skills gap for industry, forge a sustainable future for the TVET sector, and make TVET relevant to youth. But more fundamentally, we will be working to bring on board more partners to support this noble cause and build the capacity of our training institutions so that they can exhibit more hands-on skills that can generate interactions and inspire innovation among our young people.
In conclusion, allow me to say that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is an important cog in any country’s social and economic growth. It offers an alternative educational pathway for youths and adults who wish to grow professionally and at the same time provides qualified manpower needed across all sectors of the economy.
By Dr. Kipkirui Langat
The CEO/Director General of TVET Authority