Course offered include plumbing, tailoring, motor vehicle mechanic, ICT, salon and beauty therapy, welding, masonry and carpentry
Garissa Youth and Gender executive Zeinab Digale has urged young people to join technical institutions to acquire skills that will increase their chances of getting employed or creating their own jobs.
The county has four vocational training institutions, two of which are in Garissa township. The colleges have just 700 students.
Digale decried the low enrolment saying it was unfortunate that youths had shunned the colleges despite being fully equipped.
She was speaking on Tuesday at a Garissa hotel during a ceremony to wind up a three-year youth programme sponsored by the European Union and implemented by Aga Khan Foundation.
Some of the course offered include plumbing, tailoring, motor vehicle mechanic, ICT, saloon and beauty therapy, welding, masonry and carpentry. The courses duration range from three months to three years.
She said there were a number of vacancies in the technical field at the county level that need to be filled.
“It worries me that despite the huge investment in technical training from the government with the help of the county and other partners our numbers remain very low,” Digale said.
“As a community we need to change our mindset that the only gainful employment can come from white-collar jobs. The bitter reality is that those jobs are fast diminishing.”
Aga Khan Foundation project officer Ahmednoor Mohamed said the aim of the programme was to improve the socio-economic opportunities for the youth by imparting them with skills.
He said the mission had been successful.
“With the help of the national government and other partners, we equipped the institutions and they will go along way in changing lives if well used," Mohamed said.
“We are proud that the county stood with us in strengthening our partnerships. We have the trust that they will continue the work by themselves because together we have created structures and initiatives that will withstand any shocks and challenges."
He said why they had engaged young people because they form the majority of residents and were the most vulnerable to militia groups and other criminal gangs who take advantage of their desperations.
Trade executive Adow Jubat thanked the Aga Khan Foundation for its contribution to improving the economic welfare of the youth.
He challenged the youth to acquire relevant skills, apply for loans and start their own businesses.
edited by peter obuya