From the growing enthusiasm about Technical and Vocational Training, famously known as TVETs, all indications are that we are hell-bent on turning Kenya into a country of technicians and artisans. These are skills that should not be ignored in a world that is becoming competitive. It is encouraging to see more students joining technical training institutions, with some even abandoning the pursuit for university education, informed chiefly by the unemployment scourge in Kenya.
What this means is that in the next few years the informal sector is going to be flooded with “fundis”, all competing to have an edge in the market, owing to the fact that the formal sector continues to prove that it has limited chances not only for the intellectually oriented but also to the technically skilled.
These people will be looking for opportunities majorly in the construction industry to serve as plumbers, welders, carpenters, electricians, masons and painters, an industry that is already experiencing a slump, thanks to dwindling economic fortunes of our country.
The government’s decision to offer bursaries to students in TVETs is laudable, but it should go a step further in planning for the future of these young people.
In my view, rolling out tangible plans to invest in the informal sector like offering incentives to jua kali artisans and limiting the importation of things we can manufacture can be a step in the right direction.