With clamor for degrees, the number of jobless university graduates in Kenya increases every year. Years back when degrees were important, getting a job after completing the university was automatic. Things have changed nowadays.
These days, graduates from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in Kenya are better off being absorbed by the workforce than their university counterparts. This simply means TVET graduates now have increased chances of employment.
UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, “Best Practice” document outlines that,
In recent years, flexibility, adaptability and lifelong learning have become major objectives of best practice, in addition to employability.
The notion of “Best practice” was introduced in TVET institutions in Kenya in 1994 and continued to this day because there is a pool of qualified personnel to sustain the programme.
Many TVET graduates become self-employed and apply the entrepreneurial skills they have acquired in technical training institutions in their businesses.
TVET employability in Kenya will increases with time even as more Kenyans graduate with practical skills required for the labour market.
TVET graduates chances of jobs will continue to rise as the government kicks up partnerships with key industries, to absorb the youth with vocational skills within six or so months after graduation.
The probability of TVET graduates getting employed can be based on the reasons:
- The TVET program is aimed at improving access to jobs and economic opportunities for the youth in Kenya;
- Most TVET colleges offer practical oriented technical courses which are incredibly important in the industrial and economic growth of any country;
- The graduates have mastered the necessary employability skills which are required to ensure productivity in the industry they are placed;
- Businesses and companies will not need to retrain TVET graduates, unlike their degree counterparts who lack practical skills. This saves businesses money.
- Key sectors in Kenya have come to drum up support for TVET. A good example is Equity Bank’s wing to fly program.
Unemployment among TVET graduates is low compared to employability among university graduates.
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According to recent reports, university graduates in Kenya are forced to do odd jobs in order to earn a living.
This has led the government to play an active role in ensuring that the public and private sectors utilize TVET graduates.
The government of Kenya puts more value and support to TVET programs because TVET has the potential to propel the nation towards achieving its development goals.
A survey conducted by statista.com estimates the rate of unemployment in Kenya for the youths at about 18.34%
This rate applies to all the youths in Kenya, graduates or not.
TVET graduates can find some comfort in that there are jobs in the fields that they studied, which they can opt to pursue.
Here are some sectors where TVET graduates can fit very well:
TVET graduates have workmanship skills required in key sectors like finance, engineering, craft, and telecommunication.
In tourism, the graduates can act as travel agents, consultants, and cabin crew members, to name but a few.
Under office management, TVET graduates have options in administration, receptionists, and bookkeeping. They can demonstrate their exceptional skills which can propel them up the ladder within that organization.
TVET students with engineering skills will fit well in many industrial sectors, private and public as these valuable technical skills support the president’s big four agenda. Key among them is manufacturing.
Most graduates can apply for internships or apprentices in order to gain experience to enable them to become sought-after engineers within the country.
That said, TVET students gain real and valuable practical skills which they can utilize to get employment, employ themselves, or work on contracts.