TVET stakeholders in Kenya held a number of activities today to celebrate the World Youth Skills Day, which was marked at the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.

In Nairobi, TVET Authority, UNESCO UNEVOC centres together with other partners held a breakfast meeting to celebrate the day and highlight the various programmes initiated for the youth by the government and its partners.

They also used the day to launch of UNESCO TVET Policies and Training Manuals.

During the event, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ministry of Education Hon. Hassan Noor Hassan said World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is a special day set aside by the UN to raise awareness on the importance of developing relevant skills required by the youth for the labour market and self-employment.

In a speech read by CAS National Treasury Eric Wafukho, the Education CAS added that the events of the day provide a unique opportunity for the young people to engage in dialogue between technical and vocational education and training organizations, employers, workers, policy makers and development partners.

“The theme of this year: reimagining youth skills for the present and future resonates well with our commitment to provide relevant skills to propel or communities to a more prosperous nation,” he said.

“The government has endeavoured to build a number of TVET institutions across the country to promote access and equity, to equip the institutions with state-of-the-art equipment, recruit qualified trainers so that trainees can receive quality training and relevant skills and give capitation to all students admitted to public TVET institutions through KUCCPS and access to loans through HELB,” the CAS remarked.

The event was also a Principal Secretary Vocational and Technical Training Dr. Margaret Mwakima, TVETA Board Chair Prof. Ahmed Ferej, TVETA CEO Dr. Kipkirui Lang’at, TVET CDACC CEO Dr. Lawrence Guantai, Secretary General Kenya National Commision of UNESCO Dr. Evangeline Njoka, University of Eldoret Vice Chancellor Prof. Teresa Akenga, TVET students’ association chair Lewis Mathenge, among others.

The PS VTT Dr. Margaret Mwakima said that the ministry has provided state of the art training equipment to 192 training institutions within TVET, accounting to a total investment of Sh26 billion given the 2013 baseline.

“We have also recruited over 3,000 trainers and to ensure we have access to our training programs for the youth, we have introduced capitation where each student/ trainee receives 30,000 Kshs per year. To date since 2019, we have disbursed over 15 billion,” she said in her speech.

The PS stated that Kenya is now a member of the acclaimed World Skills International, a membership body that organizes the World Skills Competition and the country has also benefited a great deal from UNESCO’s BEAR II project.

“The BEAR II project (Better Education for Africa’s Rise) is a joint effort between UNESCO and the Republic of Korea to improve the TVET systems in five beneficiary countries in Eastern Africa,” the PS said.

TVETA Board Chair Prof. Ahmed Ferej also made a few remarks. He said that TVET Authority has consistently articulated its commitment to the TVET subsector as contained in the National Policy on Education and Training.

“As a sector we have adopted and embraced CBET as the guiding principle for Kenya’s TVET ecosystem. The system requires that all the stakeholders should work collaboratively to develop and implement CBET,” he said.

TVET Authority Dr. Kipkirui Langat said the Authority has developed a comprehensive Kenya TVET Report which highlights the priority sectors to be established in the sub-sector. The Authority is also in the final stages of establishing a National TVET Skills Gateway that will be hosted in the TVET Authority website.

“The Kenya TVET Skills Gateway shall provide a one-stop platform where all TVET stakeholders shall obtain various information on TVET. It will also provide linkages between various sectors of the Kenyan economy and other stakeholders. All these initiatives are geared towards improving standards of training in Kenya.”

University of Eldoret VC Prof. Akenga. She said, “we celebrate the resilience and creativity that has been displayed by the Kenyan youth during the covid-19 despite the significant challenges that have been faced by TVET institutions.”

Several other activities were carried out by various partners and stakeholders to mark the day.

The Nation Media Group’s TV station NTV held a panel discussion on 15th July 2021 on the theme “Reimagining Youth Skills Post Pandemic”. The panelists included the PS VTT Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Executive Director Federation of Kenya Employers Jacqueline Mugo, Dr Damaris Muhika COTU, and Caroline Njuki from ILO.

The Border Hub and GIZ also held a Webinar discussion to celebrate the day.

The National Taxpayers Association also held a Weninar to discuss the inclusion of Persons with disabilities in Vocational Training.

Meanwhile on Wednesday 13th, CAP Youth Empowerment Institute also held a Webinar to mark the WYSD. The discussion delved on the enhancement of youth transition from skills to sustainable livelihoods post Covid-19.