Kenyan vocational training institutions have in partnership with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) introduced demand-oriented vocational courses intended to promote collaboration between the private sector and vocational institutes to develop innovative solutions that best prepare trainees for the world of work.
The programme will see young people attending technical training institutions participate half of their school life in an industry setting.
In an interview in his office, Kitale National Polytechnic Principal John Otieno explained how the model aligns with the Competence-Based Education and Training (CBET) curriculum adding students will spend 50 per cent of their time in TTIs, and the remaining 50 per cent used to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in class, in an actual work environment.
“Trainees whose career objectives are directly related to the job will be integrated in the day-to-day work with partnering companies, this will help our institution gear more towards the labour market and enhance the employability of Kenya’s young people,” he explained citing Central Farmers Garage [CFG] as one of their partnering private sector entities.
Through adopting the new model of education structure, the institution engages students taking respective courses to work on ongoing school projects such as construction of a modern garage and pavements.
“We have ongoing school projects such as construction of a modern project and pavements within the school, we engage our students taking the respective courses to help them sharpen their skills and also allow them an opportunity to earn a stipend,” he said.
The principal revealed how the institution has secured a tender with AMPATH to service and repair the company’s motor vehicles which will be done by students, pointing out that it would enhance the demand-oriented model.
As the government strives to enhance equity and gender parity in the enrollment of youth in vocational and training institutions, female enrolment in engineering, craft and artisan courses continues to rise.
Mr Otieno recommends that encouraging and supporting fair and equal opportunities for girls and boys to perform in TVET -related subjects at school, would translate to more girls and women in TVET fields of study and even to the world of work.
According to Otieno, over the past several years technical and set courses have been male-dominated but the trend now takes a new peak as the records indicate an increase of female students taking the courses.
“Over the past years, female enrollment in technical and set courses records a new trend with girls enrolling for engineering, electrical, plumbing among other technical courses.
TVETs as a critical element of attaining Sustainable Development goal, our aim therefore is to encourage and push to increase the number of female students graduating from vocational training and getting absorbed in the job market,” he said.
The principal called on government institutions to partner with them when floating tenders with related offered courses by the institution, arguing this will enhance quality affordable service.
Mr Otieno stressed that to enhance female participation in TVET field courses, there is need for stimulating interest among female students in TVET-related subjects at an early stage, thanks to CBC education system.
To transform the manufacturing and agricultural sector, the institution offers civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, agricultural machinery and plumbing.