Training with practical experience: getting started in the new job
Kenya’s industry needs skilled workers, young people need jobs. Dual vocational training brings the two together.
Kenya’s approach to TVET now combines theory and practice, with the aim of plugging a gap. Until recently, the country’s mainly theoretical training programmes did not really prepare young professionals for jobs. As a result, it lacked the skilled workers needed for economic growth.
Now Kenya has introduced dual vocational training in line with the German model. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH provided advisory services to the Kenyan Government on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim is twofold: to encourage young professionals to find practical applications for their knowledge in companies, and to put more young men and women into better jobs. So far, around 350 trainees have gained work experience in 65 participating companies. They are now in demand on the labour market. At the same time, GIZ is providing support to the country’s economic development.
A win-win for all involved
One of those helping to coordinate the dual vocational training programme is Edwin Gathondu. The entrepreneur runs a car repair shop, where he provides on-the-job training for young men and women as part of their vocational training. ‘We teach key skills to young people hoping to become employees and entrepreneurs,’ he says. Often when trainees have completed their training, they find employment with the company that provided their work experience. Since the young men and women are already familiar with the work, it is easier for them to get started. And companies can be confident of getting well-trained junior staff. ‘For us,’ says Gathondu, ‘that counts for a lot.’
After this promising start, the project launched an expansion in early 2023 – a follow-on phase co-financed by Finland.