Leveraging on cooperation to spread demand-driven skills in Kenya

GIZ Training

A student undertaking a training in welding.

Hassan Magongo, Keziah Adhiambo, and Zahara Mohammed have a lot in common. They are young, have struggled with raising school fees and are currently trainees at local vocational training centre’s.

The three youth have ambitions of establishing their enterprises after completing their training – to support themselves and the families that have struggled to see them through school.

Multi-partner Cooperation

Their training is possible due to a cooperation between  the German Development Cooperation (GDC), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the private sector, to empower young people with the most relevant skills for employment and entrepreneurship. It is being executed through the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme.

The programme is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with co-financing contributions from KOICA, the European Union (EU), and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Youth employment

E4D promotes youth employment through modularised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to improve the economic situation of job seekers, employees, and enterprises in Kenya.

 About 5,000 young Kenyans will benefit from employment opportunities after concluding the Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) which provides both classroom training,  and practical exposure in the industry as well as relevant employability skills such as  life skills and IT. The project, which has a special focus on women and youth applies an integrated approach to skills development that involves developing the capacities of jobseekers, supporting their transition into the labour market, and thereafter, linking them to internships and jobs.

Collaboration key

Thomas Jaeschke, E4D Team Leader in Kenya underlined the importance of collaborating with the private sector, saying that this combined approach not only ensures quality vocational training but also access to jobs due to previous hands-on experience from the training.

“Promoting dialogue between the private sector and training institutions, therefore, becomes key to ensuring that trainees have access to new technologies”, he added.

Mr. Jang Hee Im, Country Director of KOICA in Kenya, is confident that  this partnership GIZ will contribute towards addressing the youth unemployment challenge in Kenya. “GIZ brings on board the necessary expertise in linking the youth with employment when they complete their training”, he said.

Ambitious youth

Hassan, 21, is a NITA grade III automotive engineering trainee at the Mwabayanyundo Polytechnic in Kilifi County. After completing his training he plans to open a workshop comprising a garage and an automotive parts shop. Thereafter, he would like to advance his qualifications in automotive engineering.

Zahara, 18, is a hospitality and tourism trainee at the Lamu Vocational Training Centre. Her ambition is to run her bakery.

She completed Class 8 but couldn’t join secondary school because of lack of  the needed funds.

“We are being trained on baking, cooking, table setting and how we can start and run our businesses,” she explains, and adds: “One day, I will become a good baker and earn a living from that trade.”

From her earnings, she hopes to support her family.

In Kisumu, Keziah Adhiambo, 26, looks forward to starting a tailoring business after completing her training at the YMCA Centre.. She says she is happy because finally, she will have acquired dress-making skills she will “use for life as a self-employed person”.

The three young people represent thousands who are gaining practical skills through the GDC and KOICA cooperations

Promoting demand-driven skills

E4D promotes through partnerships demand-driven skills and enhance the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for inclusive and sustainable growth through collaboration with both public and private sector players.Complementing Kenya’s vision 2030 and the Big 4 agenda, the cooperation will increase employment opportunities for the youth.

Since 2015, the E4D programme  has brought more than 13,000 people into jobs and trained more than 40,000 people.

E4D Implementing partners

CAP-Youth Empowerment Institute (CAP YEI), an NGO, offers demand-led training to disadvantaged young persons through Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST) modelwhich identifies the skills gap in the market and develops relevant courses to match the required skills.

It is this BEST model that CAPYEI brings to the partnership so that the young beneficiaries are equipped with relevant life skills, IT skills, entrepreneurship skills, and technical skills.

Over the last 10 years,  over 64,000 youth have been trained through best model thereof  75 percent  placed in jobs and others supported to start businesses.

Lifeskills Promoters (LISP) build the capacity of youth through life skills training and economic empowerment. LISP focuses on increasing the earning power of youth and opening up job opportunities.

In all its work, it mainstreams disability, gender, HIV, child protection, environmental conservation, and other pertinent issues.

LISP is implementing a 2inuane Project in the framework of the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme, equipping disadvantaged youth aged 18-24 with demand-led technical skills, life skills, work readiness, and entrepreneurship training.

Trainees participate in three-month classroom instruction, attachment, and subsequent NITA assessment and certification. They are then matched with jobs, and some are issued with trade-specific toolkits to enable them to pursue self-employment.

The project is informed by a regionally customised labour market assessment conducted in collaboration with private sector companies that mapped the technical skills needed in Kilifi and Kwale counties, thereby minimizing skills mismatch

2Inuane Project integrates life skills into the programme to prepare learners for real-world challenges. Graduating youth are linked to employment opportunities, including placement jobs in the green sector.

Pamoja for Transformation Trust is implementing the “Skills for Jobs” project to enhance the employability of 1,700 vulnerable youth in Kisumu county.

The project contributes to the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the reduction of unemployment among the youth. It does this by equipping them with demand-driven skills and job matching services.

The initiative is part of the E4D project, which Pamoja is implementing in Kisumu, in partnership with the County Government of Kisumu and five vocational training centre’s (Ahero VTC, Akado VTC, Mariwa VTC, National Industrial Training Authority-NITA, and YMCA).

Besides the regular technical training, Pamoja will provide the trainees with soft skills and work readiness training, industrial attachment, job matching, and placement for 969 trainees.

Another 200 with informally acquired skills from the Jua Kali sector will be re-skilled with technical knowledge,entrepreneurship skills and thereafter, issued with business toolkits to expand their enterprises.


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