The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) and the Kenya Chambers of Commerce have started engagements that are anchored on establishing Sector Skills Councils that will guide skills training and curriculum development in the TVET sector.

The TVETA Director-General Dr Kipkirui Langat, who on Wednesday 4, September 2019 held a meeting with senior officials of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) , led by the 1st Vice Chamber President Dr Erick Rutto, said that the regulator has started mobilising all the State and non-state agencies to round table to discuss the formation of the sector skills councils.

Sector skills councils are employer-led organisations that cover specific industries influencing how training is delivered in a country. Their role is to basically reduce skills gaps and shortages, improve productivity, increase opportunities for all individuals in the workforce and improve learning supply in the respective industries.

“We are currently working on the structure to identify and bring together all the government agencies involved in the TVET training sector, the industry players and other partners so that we can form a consortium that will form the sector skills councils,” Dr Langat said.

“The formation of sector skills councils will play a major role in our training system because the proposals of each sector council will inform what goes into the design and content of the training curriculum and will provide the criteria for the requirements for certification in all levels of TVET training.”

The Director-General also said that since Kenya has embraced the Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET), the sector skills councils will also play a major role in the assessment of the CBET curriculum.

“The assessment of the CBET curriculum will be done by both the TVET trainers and skills experts appointed by the industry by each of the respective sector skills councils. As a government, we will be looking at how these experts will be compensated. But more critically, we envision to have a system whereby at least 10-20% of TVET training will take place at the industry,” Dr. Langat observed.

Dr. Langat also noted that the inclusion of industry-led sector skills councils will also make it easier for the industry to support TVET training, which is currently funded almost 100% by the government and some support from development partners.

The KNCCI 1st Vice Chamber President Dr. Erick Rutto concurred that the inclusion of the industry players in the design of the curriculum and its assessment will allow the industry to invest in training because there will be value since quality graduates coming out of such a system will enhance their productivity.

He said that for the proposed structure by TVETA to be a success, the government will have to make it mandatory for all business to be members of the industry-based lobby like the Chamber of Commerce and Industry through an Act of Parliament so that funding for TVET training can be regulated.

“The industry is ready to contribute if it can see the value and be part of the training system. This is what happens in Germany where the Germany Chamber of Commerce contributes a larger share of funding needed in training while the Federal Government’s share is minimal,” Dr. Rutto said.

According to the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA), for Kenya to develop and implement a comprehensive and sustainable skills development system, it is proposed that the training sector be established as the basis of determining which skills to be developed.

The sector will also be the source of occupation standards through their respective Sector Skills Advisory Committees (SSAC) can operate.

This system needs to bring on all the players, with the KNQA developing a national policy on the development of a sustainable skills development system; and development of occupational standards with various sectors; while TVETA needs to develop training standards to ensure that training matches expectations of the industry.

Actual training will take place in technical and vocational training institutions with TVETA providing quality assurance. National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (APSEA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) should form the core of the team that should be involved in coordination of this exercise and ensure that the roles and responsibilities of each player are well spelled out.

There are 25 training sectors currently. They include auto and auto components, food processing, textile and clothing, telecommunication, IT and ITE, electronic and IT, electronics and IT hardware, furniture and furnishing, beauty and wellness, gems and jewellery, media and entertainment, leather and leather goods, tourism, hospitality and travel; building, construction and real estate; energy and extractive sector; water environment and natural resources; healthcare, pharma and life sciences, agriculture; transport and logistics; rescue services and disaster management; business, financial services and insurance, retail and wholesale services; education/skills development for teachers/trainers, security and domestic workers.