Deputy President William Ruto yesterday urged Kenyans to stop their obsession with white-collar jobs and go for lucrative technical skills.
He said the demand for university education has diminished the importance of middle-level colleges, leading to high number of jobless people.
The government’s Big Four agenda focusses on increased manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare and food security, which the DP says is key to blue-collar skills. “We will go out of our way to support these institutions that can provide training that will help millions of our young Kenyans condemned as failures,” Ruto said.
He said 80 per cent of all employment is in the private and informal sector. The DP said technical and vocational education training will help the country formalise the informal sector.
Ruto spoke at the Kenya Technical Training College in Gigiri during the launch of TVET policy framework. “Of the more than one million students who leave our education system each year, only 90,000 proceed to universities. It is unfair that the remaining are termed failures by the education system,” the DP said.
He said some of those termed failures engage in drugs, crime and violence.
Ruto said the government seeks to enrol one million students in TVETs. The initiative is aimed at tapping more than 500,000 students who fail to join universities annually.
“TVETs are the key to a robust economy and this is an established fact world over. Training that gives direct skills to young people to step out into the world of work or as entrepreneurs,” Ruto said.
Vocational and Technical Training PS Kevit Desai said individuals with hands-on skills are more marketable.
“While hiring people, the industry considers employable skills. It’s not easy to find this in fresh graduates, but when you find those from TVET, it takes them a shorter time to get familiar with everything,” he said.
Currently, 98,000 students are enrolled in national polytechnics. Technical vocational centres have 82,000 students. There are 11 national polytechnics, 125 technical, vocational colleges operational and 67 TVCs are being established.