Rising Unemployment Leads University Graduates to Pursue Technical Education

Kithimani - Amidst increasing unemployment rates, a growing number of university graduates in Kenya are enrolling in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses to gain hands-on skills for job readiness. This trend was evident during a recent graduation ceremony at the Kilimambogo Highway Building and Technology College in Kithimani, Yatta Sub County, where more than 20 of the 200 graduates were university alumni.

According to Kenya News Agency, the shift to TVET courses has been driven by the challenges of securing employment with only a university degree. Peris Wanjiru and Kurgat Kadime, who graduated from Mt. Kenya University, opted for Plant Operator courses at the technical college. Wanjiru recounted her experience of unsuccessfully job hunting for years before deciding to join TVET for practical training to become more marketable. Kadime, from Kajiado County, chose to train as a plant operator, citing the scarcity of professionals in this field in his region. "In our County, we have very few plant operators and I hope to get a job soon," Kadime said, contrasting this with the limited job prospects he faced with just a university degree.

Bani Muhachi, another graduate from the Coast region, urged President William Ruto to negotiate for employment opportunities for the youth in his bilateral labor deals with foreign countries as a way to address the unemployment crisis. The ceremony's Chief Guest, Douglas Kibe, emphasized the importance of hands-on and marketable skills in helping graduates secure jobs and contribute to the country's infrastructural development. He pointed out the necessity to shift from purely formal and theoretical education to skill-based learning to propel Kenya towards becoming an industrialized and developed economy. Kibe noted that the establishment of devolved units in Kenya has opened doors for youths with technical skills, especially with the National Government's focus on infrastructural development. "There has been a great need for technical expertise where the government has been relying on services from abroad, but this is slowly diminishing with young Kenyans equipping themselves with necessary skills," Kibe sta ted, highlighting the increasing self-reliance in technical expertise within the country.