Stakeholders in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sub-sector have united in the call for a national policy framework to guide the harmonised implementation of the Cooperative Vocational Training in Kenya.
This would ensure that actions by all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the training model are governed by a statutory legislation framework.
Speaking at a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ sensitisation forum in Nairobi, Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary ( State Department for Vocational Education and Technical Training (SDVTT) Margaret Mwakima noted, “Cooperative training is the new model that the Ministry of Education wants to replicate and contribute to alleviating unemployment problems in the country.”
She added: “All players in the TVET sub-sector need to be sensitised on the model and their important role, for its success in delivery. We must create awareness and agree on a way forward in regard to implementation of a policy to support Cooperative Training and to determine the support that your institutions can provide in view of drafting the policy process that we are initiating today.”
Dr Mwakima’s speech was read by Mr David Kipkemei, Secretary Administration, SDVTT.
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Education, and Vocational and Technical Training (SDVTT) and supported by the German Development Cooperation.
The event was also attended by representatives from various ministries that work with vocational training and youth employment, industry partners, representatives from training institutions and non-state actors among others.
The Cooperative Vocational Education and Training model also referred to as dual vocational training, is currently being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Development Bank (KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The training model combines learning at a training institution with industrial experience and mentorship offered through in-company training.
Implementation is based on a competence-based educational and training (CBET) curricula, which forms the basis of training plans at the training institution and company-based mentoring plans.
Students will spend 50 per cent of their time in technical training institutions, and the remaining 50 per cent applying the knowledge gained in class in field work.
On completion, the trainees receive a level 6 Diploma from TVET-CDACC, with the option of a C-level certificate offered by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce for Eastern Africa (AHK).
Highlighting the value of the training programme, Mr Sammy Waititu, Principal Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology
(Kist) lauded the initiative.
“Students enrolled in the first cohort of the Cooperative Vocational Training in Industrial Mechatronics at KIST emerged best overall and displayed a wealth of knowledge, despite having been trained for a short period,” said Mr Waititu.
KIST is among seven training institutions closely collaborating with companies to train technicians in identified vocational trade areas.
Three of the training institutions admitted their first training cohort in September 2020.
KIST will be upgraded to a centre of excellence in Industrial Mechatronics while the other two institutions - Nairobi Technical Training Institute and Thika Technical Training Institute – will be centres of excellence in Automotive Mechatronics and Autobody Technology, respectively.
The other four institutions expect their first training class in 2022.
They include Bumbe Technical Training Institute (Automotive Technology), Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology - RIAT (Refrigeration and Cold store Mechatronics), Ekerubo Gietai Technical Training Institute (Plant technician / tea sector) and Kitale National Polytechnic (Commercial & Agricultural Vehicle Mechatronics).