Bridge gap between training and industry skills needs, manufacturers say

Thursday, 3rd November 2022, Nairobi. Manufacturers have today called on stakeholders to bridge the gap between training and industry’s skills needs.

This was during a Job Summit, hosted by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), in partnership with the German Development Corporation. The Summit, themed ‘Driving manufacturing growth through sustainable skills development’, brought together youth, manufacturers, technical training institutes, Government and development partners. It was held during the ongoing Changamka Shopping Festival.

The summit provided a platform for stakeholders to create communities of learning and sharing good practices as well as identifying advocacy and policy areas on meaningful and decent work.

Speaking during the forum, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Hon. Ababu Namwamba urged development partners to support skills development initiatives, saying, “By building the youth’s capacity through skills, we shall increase their employability, thus empowering them socio-economically. As Government, we shall work with and support like-minded partners and organizations, in order to drive our country’s growth.”

The Head of German Development Corporation at the German Embassy in Kenya, Daniel Guenther appreciated the long-standing relationship between Kenya and Germany on skills development.

“We are firmly convinced that only through sound vocational training and favourable framework conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises economic growth can be achieved that will bring young people into employment. Learning from our experience in Germany, companies can also contribute by giving young people the opportunity to learn as

part of bringing well-trained people into the labour market. Germany is making a significant contribution to this and cmmited to being a reliable partner in youth employment ”.

KAM Chairman Rajan Shah acknowledged that there is an increasing and significant demand for skilled workers in industries in Kenya.

“As industry, we are facing a skills gap even as we strive to improve the quality of our goods and services to enable us to attain global competitiveness. We recognize that human capital development is the main harbinger of the future workplace. Many leading economies are transitioning towards putting more investments in the potential of their workforce, and Kenya should not be left behind.”

Mr Shah explained that the country’s economic prosperity is largely dependent on highly skilled workforce, saying, “Skills development stimulates the creation of a sustainable development process and can contribute to the transition from the informal to the formal economy, essential to address the opportunities and challenges to meet new demands of changing economies and new technologies in the context of globalization”

The summit is an initiative of KAM’s Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) program. The Association has been implementing the program from 2017 to date. The program seeks to link manufacturers with skilled technical labor from TVET institutions.

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