Local industry has faced a shortage of skilled labour, owing to a mismatch between curriculum development for higher institutions of learning, lack of sufficient life skills and the shortage of centralized labour market information that makes it easier for the job seeker and the employer to connect.
This is despite labour productivity being essential for manufacturing competitiveness.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) partnered with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to implement the Employment for Development programme, popularly known as E4D SOGA, to promote youth employment through skills development.
KAM Chief Executive, Ms Phyllis Wakiaga, noted that the programme has enabled the Association to inch closer towards achieving its vision of supporting skills-based job creation agenda and increase manufacturing sector jobs.
“Through this program, we have seen youth take up internships in various industries, with some being employed permanently. We have also seen young graduates gain hands-on experience, where they have acquired relevant competencies through our work readiness trainings that equip them with both work and life skills. This is critical, especially because the world is moving fast towards Industry 4.0 to increase the manufacturing sector’s output” said Ms Wakiaga.
She added that the program has encouraged more young women to take up Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses, saying, “The programme has also encouraged more young women to take up STEM courses and venture into manufacturing-related jobs, inspired by seasoned professionals in the sector. Previously, the number of young women venturing into this sector was small, compared to their male counterparts.”
Focusing on graduate competencies in various technical courses, the program entails providing soft skills training and placing graduates on internships to increase their competitiveness to transition into jobs; capacity building of technical training institutions, refresher training to industry employees based on identified skills gaps and mentoring industry supervisors for stronger skills transfer to graduates.
To find out more about KAM’s skills development programme, visit: http://kam.co.ke/tvet/