Kenya’s first ever skills show seeking to improve employability of youth was held the past weekend in Nairobi. The Kenya Skills Show brought together training institutions, government and private sector players, civil society as well as career experts at an exhibition of some of the careers available in the market today.
The Kenya Skills Show was organized by the Permanent Working Group on TVET and TVET Authority to help employers harmonise their talent needs with training institutions in an effort to bridge the skills gaps in the labour market.
Industry Cabinet Secretary Adam Mohamed, who spoke at the skills show, said the skills show is expected to set the foundation for creating a pool of highly qualified technical personnel for Kenyans to reap from over 100 million jobs expected to move from China to other countries as the cost of labour increases in the Asian economic power house.
“TVET has been critical in the transformation of many economies and poverty eradication,” he said. “As a country we need to retool our economic and social policies to have inclusive and sustainable economic.”
PWG chairman, Dr. Kevit Desai, said the skills show attracted over 100 institutions from private and public sector, as well as leading employers in the country such as Coca Cola and government.
“The skills show seeks to create a link between the real world and young person’s imagination,” said Dr. Desai. “Young people have limited opportunities to explore their skills as they are very much focused simply focused on observation. We want them to try all manner of field such as beauty, baking, robotics, software and we hope this stimulates creativity and innovation.”
Various skills were exhibited by different companies and colleges, including wood craft, clay works, cosmetics, baking, robotics and engineering among others.
The skills show came at the end of the hands on the future national TVET conference held last week, which sought to stimulate interest in technical skills among young Kenyans. TVET is seen as key in Kenya’s drive to create jobs for youth and achieve industrialization by 2030. The government says it’s working with private sector to redesign TVET curricula in line with current demands.