Kenya’s automobile training gets a shot in the arm

Plan International and auto mobile manufacturer, Hyundai, plan to sponsor 120 young women and girls from the ages of 18 to 35 years from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country in a move to boost automobile training capacity.

The beneficiaries will be enrolled in a 9 months training course in motor vehicle auto-electrics at the Hyundai Dream Centre located at National Industrial Training Authority’s (NITA) Athi River campus.

Done in partnership with the Salvador Caetano Kenya organisation and funded by Hyundai Motor Company, the project is expected to improve the training facility to modern standards while developing capacity for young people with demand-driven entrepreneurship and employability skills in the automotive industry through industrial training.

Plan International director of operations Patrick Ngenga said this will not only address youth unemployment through enabling them to acquire technical and non-technical demand driven employability soft skills, but also enable them acquire decent jobs to improve their livelihood.

“We are pleased to build capacity for our young women and girls who will change the perception that the automotive industry is male dominated. This course will bridge the gap where many young people lack job opportunities due to lack of relevant skills that match the labour market needs,” said Mr Ngenga.

Through sustainable partnerships with the private sector, the trainees will also benefit from placements for industrial training attachment programs hosted by various motor vehicle companies and garages spread across the country.

The workshop, which is 80% equipped at the moment, and will be fully equipped by August 2021, is fitted with hybrid and electric car engine simulators that will enhance automobile training. This is part of the realization of one of the Big 4 Agenda’s – manufacturing, that aims at assisting in training young people for improved skilled work force.

“The Project will focus on transferring advanced knowledge and skills in motor vehicles auto-electrics, technologies; increasing the opportunities for employment and decent work for the youth and boost the number of youth engaged in wage and self- employment,” said Wilson Ngahu, NITA board director who was representing NITA board chairman, Kamau Gachigi.

Mr Ngahu added that the facility will enhance efficiency in project management processes to facilitate self-employment and start-ups among young people. The first 20 pioneer trainees are currently undertaking their industrial attachment.

Other organizations and dignitaries who attended the launch were drawn from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and leading private sector players with an interest in quality industrial training.

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