Work Integrated Learning for Youth Employment and Livelihood Project
The Work Integrated Learning for Youths is a Project that seeks to improve the employability of youths through industry relevant technical and soft skills development and work integrated learning in collaboration with the industry. The project is designed such that a trainee can acquire hand-on technical training at the state-of-the-art Centurion Training Center and also on factory onsite. The technical training will be integrated with soft and life skills necessary for the trainee to have work readiness skills to help them acquire and retain jobs.
The project anticipates to have systemic transformation in the academia and industrial sectors and improve the chances of youths to acquire industry relevant skills and exposure and get productive employment that will in the long run improve their standard of living and livelihoods.
Skills development and work integrated learning to improve the livelihood of youths through productive employment and entrepreneurship
a. Build capacity on industry relevant technical and soft skills among the youths
b. Facilitate work integrated learning opportunities to the trainees to gain industry exposure and experience through internships
c. Facilitate the linkages to gainful employment and entrepreneurship among the trainees
Kenya’s economy has undergone a significant process of structural transformation over the last decade. Amidst this positive growth context and the scale up of infrastructural mega projects by the government and development partners, there are indications that achieving such ambitious targets might be difficult, especially given the lack of skilled local labour and the slow rate of employment generation. Attaining the high rates of growth and the degree of transformation envisioned in Kenya’s Vision 2030 requires a renewed emphasis on boosting productivity, efficiency and innovation at the company level through skills development.
Despite the availability of employment opportunities due to this growth in the country, including economic growth, industrial expansion and infrastructure development; and the high number of youths graduating from universities and vocational education and training institutes, unemployment is still a major concern in Kenya. The employers argue that graduates are unemployable as they lack:
(i) technical expertise,
(ii) knowledge of the relevant industry and
(iii) market/industry exposure. Further, the youths lack the technical know-how that would help them run their own business and create employment.
The Government of Kenya has made youth employment and entrepreneurship a key national priority and there is an increased focus on technical and vocational education and training reforms. As such, this project see an important strategic opportunity to create improved economic outcomes for youth while simultaneously creating a strong pipeline for employers and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Solutions to skills and youth unemployment
Recognizing the urgent and immediate need to address the issue of mismatch of skills demanded and supplied, and also taking a proactive role to ensure current and future needs of skilled manpower by private sector are met, LIWA established Sector Skills Advisory Committees (SSACs) and have so far established SSACs in the following occupations; Welding, Instrumentation & Control, Heavy and Light Machinery operations and Mechanical Technology and Maintenance.
SSACs are Public-Private Partnership structures that facilitate private sector involvement in the development of TVET in Kenya. They are therefore led by private sector because they represent private sectors’ interests and needs in relevance and quality of skills, education and research. Through SSACs, occupation standards and CBET curriculum (technician level) in the mentioned four occupations have been developed. The SSACs aim to holistically address the skills gap by providing stakeholders a pathway to meaningful participation in TVET transformation in Kenya. A SSAC acts as a delivery system for the entire TVET ecosystem in promoting relevance and quality of education and skills to create sustainable employment and ultimately economic development.
The Project offers a comprehensive set of training interventions and wrap-around services that will allow youth to secure decent work through wage or self-employment. The project aligns labour market demand with supply through partnerships with private companies, training providers, donors, youth, and government. The initiative will provide market-driven training and support services for key employment growth sectors of the economy while strengthening the capacity of institutional partners and key stakeholders within the broader ecosystem.
Only by increasing productivity, efficiency and innovation can Kenyan firms become globally competitive and generate the quantity of high quality products and services and jobs required to boost incomes and achieve shared prosperity. This contributes to the twin goals of shared prosperity and poverty reduction by generating productivity gains that increase employment, raise wages, and improve access for the poor to products and services.
This is possible by increasing the skills capabilities of firms, enabling them to integrate and adopt new technologies that improve labour productivity, quality and reduction of costs.