Students to undergo mandatory industrial training


UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI GRADUANDS PHOTO/COURTESY
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI GRADUANDS PHOTO/COURTESY

The Commission for University Education (CUE) is pushing to make it mandatory for students to undergo a six-month industrial training course before they are awarded certificates at the university.

This is according to Deputy President William Ruto who on Wednesday said the government was putting more emphasis in the development of vocational training to meet the development needs of the country.

“The Commission for University Education is coming up with a framework that will ensure students are well prepared to compete effectively in the job market,” said Mr Ruto.

The deputy president also revealed that the government has completed construction of 60 technical institutes across the country, noting that it was sourcing for support to equip them.

Speaking during the 9th Development Partnership Forum held at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, Ruto said there was a shortage of artisans, technicians and 25,000 technologists in the country.

German Ambassador to Kenya Jutta Frasch, who is also a co-chair of the Development Partners Group (DPG), said development partners would help the country establish an education system that could provide technological skills.

She stressed the need for Kenya to develop an education system that can cater for its growing labour market, adding that a new curriculum would enable the youth to compete effectively in the job market.

“Quality basic and secondary education as well as strong tertiary education opportunities are preconditions for a skilled workforce,” said Mrs Frasch.

She went on: “A well-trained blue-collar worker equipped with practical skills and experience as required by the market can equally feed his family, pay school fees and build a house.”

Director of Africa Development Bank Gabriel Negatu said in regard to the challenge of increasing youth employment, that Kenya’s private sector has a key role to play in creating employment opportunities for the youth.

“We cannot address the problem of unemployment in this country if we do not have an education system that gives knowledge and skills to the youth to become self-reliant,” said Mr Negatu.

The leaders pointed out that the private sector holds key to creation of employment opportunities.

Devolution and Planning Principal Secretary Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki, who read the pre-Development Partnership Forum recommendations, said the forum had identified three key priority areas for enhancing youth employment.

Ms Mabruki said the three focus areas are employment and skills development, strengthening coordination mechanisms and addressing youth radicalisation and crime.

Mr Lee Karuri of the Kenya Alliance of Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) said unless the country redesigns its curriculum to meet technological needs, little would be achieved as far as Vision 2030 is concerned.

“We are ready to partner with all stakeholders to look for ways of developing a curriculum that can address the needs of the youths,” said Mr Karuri.

China Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa, Vice chairman of the Council of Governors Salim Mvurya, Treasury CS Henry Rotich, Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme, Mrs Nardos Bekele-Thomas, among others addressed the meeting.

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Story By Eric Ndubi
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