Youths urged to embrace technical education

The Kisii County Government in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working on a programme to address issues of employment among the youths. 

County Secretary Patrick Lumumba noted that the County Government will enter into a partnership with the USAID funded Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (KYES) programme that will see thousands of youths empowered with various skills and later access employment opportunities in private sectors.

The beneficiaries include the business community, contractors, the civil society, youth associations and training institutions within the county.

Addressing various partners including the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) and Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP), Lumumba said the programme targets over 25,000 youths across the county.

“We are incorporating several private sector organizations and the business community in this project that is aimed at improving youth employability. Our youths will be trained, offered workplace internship and late employment opportunities. This will drastically reduce unemployment cases in the county,” said Lumumba.

He said the collaboration will promote youth empowerment and transform the Vocational Education and Small Enterprise sectors into highly competitive sectors delivering new employment opportunities to the youth in Kisii County.

“The County Government under the leadership of Governor James Ongwae is supporting vocational training centers to adopt competency-based education and training curriculum in line with education reforms.  The county will continue to give priority and provide training and linkages to youth to access on government procurement opportunities,” said Lumumba.

In return, businesses, hotels, colleges, and other organizations would provide jobs to the youth while the county government will continue to give an enabling environment for business to thrive.  

Lumumba disclosed that youths with vocational skills like plumbing, masonry and carpentry are more likely to get employment opportunities than graduates and regretted that many youths are still banking on only white-collar jobs.

KYEOP County Coordinator Martha Otieno said the partnership will provide youths with much needed work experience as well as address the mismatch in skills.

“Currently, some youths across the county who applied for the trainings are being trained on live skills, core business skills, technical skills and jobs specific skills,” she said.

County Coordinator USAID KYES project David Rotich said the partnership will promote youth access to quality vocational training that meet market demands besides promoting partnership linkages that will enhance resource leveraging to support youth skill development and employability.

“Youths will benefit from employment, coaching and mentoring, internship, loans and access to funding from various banking institutions among other benefits,” he said.