As the world moves to the industrial and technological revolution, technical institutions and stakeholders have been called on to retool the curriculum to align with the current and future industrial needs.
Addressing stakeholders at the International Research Conference at Kiambu Institute of Science And Technology (KIST), experts said reengineering training would provide trainers and trainees with the in-demand skills needed by employers to thrive in their businesses.
“The rapid change in technology and industrial revolution require us to retool, rescale, remodify our training to be able to meet the demand of the required skills in the industry,” said Andrew Too who represented the Director General of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) Dr. Kipkurui Langat.
According to Too, the new skills set for the future world of work can be identified through research and analysis of trends in skills requirements adding that Kenya School of TVET will spearhead the retooling of TVET curriculum to reflect the needs of the market.
Too said the TVET Act 2013 provides for continuous development where teachers are expected to retrain so as to be able to retain the students.
“In addition to attaching students, we’re also looking at how teachers can also go for attachment every three years so that they’re equipped with new technology in TVETS and industries,” he said.
Too noted that aligning training with industrial needs can have a ripple effect on the economy because businesses are likely to expand and create new jobs if they are able to find the talents they need.
“Skills that are acquired through TVET can provide solutions to society, improve on national development, food security and other spheres of life.”
“We expect to see technical institutions producing research papers looking into the skills required in the future and the labour market trends,” he added
Further Too mentioned that equipping trainers and training with current knowledge on the effects of industrialization on climate change would promote creation of ‘green’ jobs to reduce pollution in the environment.
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“We should ask ourselves what aspects of our training look into the future in regard to conservation of the environment, so that regardless of your field of training, you’re conscious of the environment,” said Too.
He added; The aspect of greening is not about trees alone but also looking at the whole sphere including reducing the use of fossil fuels, embracing renewable energy and skills we’re providing should help students contribute to environment conservation.
Further, he called on technical institutions to themselves as the country gears towards use of electric vehicles in bid to reduce use of fossil fuels.
“What are we doing as TVETS, so that when these cars hit the market, we will have the skills to work on hybrid electric cars and motorcycles? That’s where retooling comes in,” he said.
The rallying call by experts reflects the aspiration by President William Ruto’s administration to empower technical training institutes so as to facilitate industrialization and the creation of jobs for development of the various sectors.
In his pursuit to encourage the uptake of technical courses, Ruto announced plans to fund students allocated to join the institutions and doubling the funds allocated to TVETs.
“Sustainable development involves working with what available resources having in mind the future generations. Our training should ensure that our curriculum, institutions and culture are re-engineered towards attaining Sustainable development,” he added.
Too challenged technical institutes to partner with other stakeholders to further research and innovations by commercialising the innovation projects to provide value.
He said Research and Innovation are key in providing solutions to the country’s problems and more so key drivers in attaining fourth and eighth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Importance of TVET in SDGs is emphasised on attaining quality education that equips students with lifelong skills to enable them secure decent jobs,” said Too.
Too noted that TVETA will be publishing the 6th Kenya Journal of TVETs from TVET institutions containing research materials by technical institutions.
The third international research conference brings together representatives from technical training, scientists, manufacturers, employers associations, students among others.
Beatrice Somu, a civil engineer said the affordable Housing agenda would offer opportunities fr technical trainees to learn and implement their skills.