The ongoing local training programme at the Railway Training Institute (RTI) under the Standard Gauge Railway project is viewed as a timely boost to the effort of equipping the youth with work skills that will enable them escape the trap of poverty and contribute to their community’s well being.
This emerged during the recently held ‘Hands on the Future Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) National Conference and Kenya Skills Show’ at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). The Conference is a forum for national and international stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, development partners, NGOs, and youth representatives to dialogue, learn and exchange on key challenges and opportunities to unlock the potential of the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) ecosystem in Kenya.
Speaking at the Forum, Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said that the local training under the SGR project is a model to be emulated by other sectors in the country because it conforms to the Government’s ideals and will create a bankable pool of technicians and labor force which can be called upon in future for subsequent railway construction, operation and maintenance.
“The Government is currently focusing on transforming various infrastructure through upgrading existing ones and also construction of new infrastructure in the country. It is at this time that the education sector should be at the forefront in supplying the relevant labor force to the various projects. Kenya Railways through the Railway Training Institute is currently training young men and women and this will form the core of their work force once the railway line is ready for operation,” he said.
He further applauded the programme terming it an effective means of empowering young people to engage in productive and self-sustaining livelihoods. The training is taking place at a time the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is undergoing reforms in a bid to enhance access to skills development. The TVET programme was cited as critical especially to African Governments who are faced with the challenge of providing further learning opportunities to youth who complete primary and secondary education.