• Gathirwa said the institutions had greatly reduced idleness among the youth who failed to attain grades to propel them to university.
• Nkoroi said there are 39 vocational training centres in the county with a total of 4,188 trainees
The Kiambu government has launched a mask-making programme to address unemployment for trainees and graduates of vocational centres.
“Though Covid-19 has made schooling impossible, the county government saw it fit to have trainees in the county vocational centres and those who have graduated be engaged in making face masks to meet the high demand,” Governor James Nyoro said.
He said the youths are paid Sh600 per day.
County vocational training director Emily Nkoroi said there are 39 vocational training centres in the county with a total of 4,188 trainees. The county plans to have all 60 wards in the county get a vocational centre.
She said enrolment in these centres has increased gradually since 2016. "In 2016, the enrolment was 1,854 trainees, in 2017 it increased to 2,838, in 2018 it went up to 3,115 in 2018, in 2019 it shot to 4,145 and now we are at 4,188,” Nkoroi said.
Youths joining these institutions are trained in motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, welding and metal fabrication, hairdressing, catering, plumbing, masonry, carpentry and joinery.
Nkoroi said the department is looking forward to employing more qualified instructors due to the high demand and has mapped out some specific VTCs to make them centres of excellence in various courses.
The department has also established training for mentally challenged persons where they are trained in making mats, leather works and clothes. The Juja vocational training centre has trainees with hearing impairments who are taught sign language and how to use specialised equipment.
“We are hands-on since the trainees are trained physically and also get to do theory work. We produce the best and the graduates are well-equipped," Nkoroi said.
Vocational training centres chairman Paul Gathirwa said the institutions had greatly reduced idleness among the youth who failed to attain grades to propel them to university.
“Parents across the county should consider enrolling their children for vital skills and knowledge to increase their chances of getting jobs and being self-reliant,” he said.