Tvet gets Sh1.55 billion in new five-year plan

TVET student

A mechanical engineering student operates a lathe machine at Nyeri Technical Institute.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The government has launched a five-year plan to strengthen and expand Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet).

The programme also aims at enhancing collaboration and linkages to the industry, national and county governments and other players to strengthen youth employability.

About 500,000 young people join the job market every year but only 25 per cent are absorbed.

A majority of young adults in Kenya are engaged in agriculture, building and construction, transport, casual labour and jua kali.

Others are in retail, wholesale and distribution – industries that are largely informal.

According to the Tvet Data Gaps Implementation Plan 2022-2027, the Ministry of Education will strengthen knowledge access to promote inclusivity and equity in the institutions.

This will include expanding infrastructure, supporting trainees and mainstreaming special needs and gender.

During the launch of the plan in Nairobi on Thursday, Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Margaret Mwakima said data mapping is important in decision-making.

“It will address many challenges in the sector,” Dr Mwakima said.

The plan also focuses on providing adequate data for quality of Tvet courses, enhancing knowledge on resource mobilisation and governance.

The government says it will spend Sh1.55 billion on the programme.

Some Sh262 million will be utilised by the government in the 2022/23 financial year, Sh309.1 million in 2023/24 fiscal year, Sh322 million in 2024/25, Sh327.5 million in 2025/26 and Sh336 million in the 2026/27 financial year.

The PS said data mapping began in November last year. Tvet data mapping was developed by the ministry in partnership with Zizi Afrique and Education Sub-Sahara Africa.

Zizi Afrique CEO John Mugo said implementing the plan would strengthen Tvet by providing policy makers and researchers with necessary information.

“Young people have needs beyond employment,” he said.

According to an evidence brief by Zizi Afrique Foundation on supporting jobless youth, education and training to access technical and vocational education, the government needs to popularise Tvet programmes, especially in rural and marginalised areas.

“Despite government interventions and mobilisation, including reforms in Tvet, the country is still recording high numbers of youths who are not enrolled,” the report reads.

It says 16.9 per cent of individuals aged 15-34 in Kenya were not in education, employment or training in the first quarter of 2021.

The rate had grown to 18.1 per cent in the next quarter.

The report also shows that although there are ongoing interventions to enhance access to Tvet including funding and Higher Education Loans Board disbursements, costs are a major reason for stopping education and training.

Recent reforms include devolution of vocational technical centres and the introduction of the competency-based education and training (Cbet) curriculum.

Enrolment in Tvet institutes has been increasing over the years from 85,563 in 2015 to a record 476,202 in 2020 according to the 2021 Economic Survey.

Zizi Afrique Foundation says the institutes need to design programmes and courses targeting unemployed and untrained youths, enhance use of well targeted financial support mechanisms and initiate targeted communication strategies to curtail negative perceptions around Tvet.

It also recommends government jobs targeting Tvet graduates, accessible and stable internet services and coverage to expose youths to social media and making Tvet more accessible to girls and women with disabilities.

Dr Mugo said there is a higher demand than supply of skills in the labour market.

He added that the gap between skills sought by employers and the actual skills by graduates is huge and needs to be addressed by Tvet.

“Analyses on skills demanded and supplied in the market have established that marketing and sales, technical abilities, financial planning and management, life skills and entrepreneurship lack in official and informal sectors,” reads the brief on enhancing Kenya’s youth preparedness for the fourth industrial revolution published by the foundation.

According to Dr Mugo, the government will need to come up with strategies that will ensure the country has enough human resources to train young people.

Under the collaboration, trainers will get an opportunity to acquire academic and industrial skills from experts.