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Kenya says partnership with China has revamped vocational training
2017/09/08

by Christine Lagat

NAIROBI, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The vocational and technical training programs supported by Chinese government and corporations in Kenya has addressed skills gap responsible for high youth unemployment in the country, officials said on Thursday.

Principal Secretary in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training Dinah Mwinzi said China-funded skills upgrade and mentorship programs in Kenya's tertiary institutions have boosted employment opportunities for the youth.

"China has supported us with equipment to reclaim our technical training institutions and the impact has been felt as evidenced by the large number of youth with market relevant skills," said Mwinzi.

She spoke during a regional workshop attended by policymakers, employers and scholars to share knowledge on revamping vocational training in the light of high demand for highly skilled personnel in the workplace.

Mwinzi said that Kenya has forged enduring partnership with China to implement an ambitious program to refurbish existing technical training institutions that are popular with youth who fail university admissions.

She revealed that China has provided state of the art equipment to ten national polytechnics that train lower cadre industrial workers like masons, plumbers, fork lift drivers and welders.

"We are also partnering with China to implement the second phase of modernizing 134 technical training institutions at the constituency level. The aim is to prepare young people to service the industrial sector," Mwinzi told Xinhua.

Kenya has borrowed lessons from China's education system that encourages skills acquisition, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive growth.

Mwinzi noted that vocational training programs supported by Chinese corporations like Avic International have enhanced the employability and financial independence of Kenyan youth.

"The most outstanding feature of China-funded vocational training programs in our tertiary institutions is their ability to mould the youth to become self-reliant," said Mwinzi, adding that a vibrant technical and vocational training sector is key to achieve Kenya's industrialization goal.

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