Kenya set to export skilled workers to regional market

Kenya could be a big beneficiary of an expanding East Africa Community market as it moves to export its excess, but qualified youthful labour.
To realize this, the ministry of labour has set in motion a programme to retrain and redirect excess human resource, particularly with the admission of South Sudan as a new member of the regional economic bloc.
To prepare skilled workers willing to take advantage of the existing demand for their services in neighbouring countries, Cabinet Secretary in charge of Labour and East Africa affairs, Phyllis Kandie, disclosed that the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) has been directed to develop a training curriculum and programme.
NITA is a semi-autonomous agency charged with supplying trained manpower for the industry and does so through its five industrial training centres located in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Athi River. Its primary targets are employers who contribute to the statutory Industrial Training Levy Fund.
 In remarks read on her behalf by Principal Secretary, Betty Maina, during the official opening of the 9th Training Providers’ Forum held in Nairobi on March 15, 2016, Mrs Kandie said: 
“In a huge East African Community market, the government considers as urgent the need to prepare migrating workers to be ready for regional and international market.’
“To achieve this, my ministry has asked NITA to prioritise the development of a training curriculum and programme that should transform skilled labour for export. Trainers have a responsibility to put more emphasis on competence-based training to meet the demands of the industry,” she added.
The annual forum whose theme was “Redefining industrial training in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030”, brought together about 400 private and public trainers regulated under the Industrial Training Act, 2011, which established NITA.
The CS said as part of the efforts to realize Vision 2030, the Ministry of Labour and NITA are among government agencies involved in implementing a multi-million World Bank—funded youth empowerment programme set to change the fortunes of young Kenyans.
The Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) is geared towards reversing the alarming levels of youth unemployment which poses a threat to the overall economic well-being of the country.
Trainers follow proceedings during the forum. The project is divided into four key components, namely: improving youth employability; job creation; labour market information systems; and strengthening youth policy development and project management. NITA is charged with implementing the first component, improving youth employability whose key deliverable indicators include;
a) number of beneficiary youths receiving life skills, technical and entrepreneurship training and internships;
b)    number of beneficiary youths obtaining a skill certification
c)    number of craftsmen who participate in upgrading and obtain master craftsman certification
d)    number of new trade standards and testing instruments developed for traditional apprenticeships
e)    number of trade standards and testing instruments revised for traditional apprenticeships.
The Ministry of Labour will be the lead agent on component three--labour market information systems—whose indicators are:
 a)    number of Ministry of Labour staff trained to carry out labor market analysis in the labor market observatory
b)    number of employers posting vacancies
C)    Number of registered job seekers.
Members of the NITA choir entertain guests. Mr Paul Kosgei, Director General, NITA, said the four-year World Bank project will respond to Kenyan employers who have been complaining that youth who come out of tertiary educational facilities and training centres frequently lack the relevant work experience and competencies needed for employment. 
The Authority is also an implementing partner of the recently launched Kenya Commercial Bank Group’s Kshs.50 billion enterprise development programme geared towards birthing a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis.