Life skills and Career Guidance Knowledge Sharing Workshop
In line with implementing its action plan on mainstreaming life skills and career guidance in TVET and education curricula, the YouMatch Working Group #4 organized a one-day knowledge sharing workshop with Kenyan stakeholders about the integration of life skills and career guidance in the Kenyan TVET system. The workshop was jointly hosted by CAPYEI, the TVET Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) and the Kenyan TVET Authority (TVETA). It gathered members of the YouMatch Working Group #4 (WG#4) from Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya as well as Akazi Kanoze Access Rwanda, Ministry of Education Kenya, Ministry of Labour Kenya, Kenya Technical Trainers College, Vocational Training Centers, Private Sector Representatives, NGOs affiliated to training and development partners. The workshop used a participatory approach and it allowed the exchange of information and experience among participants. An official launch of the YouMatch funded innovative research project “Testing the integration of a life skills curriculum in the Government run TVET system in Kenya” has also been an integral part of that workshop. This project is implemented by CAP YEI, together with its cooperation partner CDACC.
In his opening remarks, the Director General of TVET Authority (Kenya) and Speaker of WG#4, Dr. Kipkurui Langat expressed the essence of sensitizing and eliminating the negative perception about TVET training amongst the youth. The Director General stressed that there was and is higher employment potential for TVET graduates where skills development is of quality, relevant and sustainable for our economy. Soft skills, according to Dr. Langat complement technical competency because they affect attitude and adaptability in workplace. He also highlighted the essence of youth empowerment to identify their passions and interest in career pathways.
After this emphasis of the importance of life skills, Dr. Ferej, the senior Lecturer at the University of Eldoret, highlighted the need for trainers to acquire career guidance skills to prepare TVET graduates for the world of work. He viewed career guidance as an avenue for redemption and prevention of carrier mistakes. In this vein, the principal secretary, Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, on behalf of the Ministry of Education challenged industry, education experts and stakeholders to think of the careers of the future to meet emerging industrial needs. Furthermore, she stressed that graduates needed career guidance to foster job adaptation, multiskilling and productivity as well as the necessity of developing employability skills- i.e, talents, gifts and competencies. To this end, she emphasized that the Government of Kenya is committed to institutionalization of life skills, communication and entrepreneurship in TVET education.
Different partners of the YouMatch network seized the opportunity of the event to strengthen the regional knowledge exchange by providing presentation on their work and challenges in the field of life skills and career guidance to youth:
Rwanda Workforce Development Authority (WDA), represented by Mr. Gordon Bamwine provided a presentation on a Career Guidance Framework for the Rwandan TVET system which mainly focused on :
- Development of career guidance framework and implementation in Rwanda
- WDA’s achievements and challenges in implementing TVET career guidance
Jacques Sezikeye, executive director of Akazi Kanoze Access Rwanda, introduced their work readiness programme for young people. Akazi Kanoze Access informed the audience that its workforce development programs seek to successfully transition youth into jobs through targeted support that helps them apply their work readiness skills and experiences.
Prof. Charles Ondieki, the current chairperson CDACC, provided an overview of Life skills in TVET in Kenya. He said that Life skills are not effectively offered in schools because it is not examinable and a few teachers are trained to provide Life Skills.
In addition to the contributions coming from the YouMatch network, Discover Your Career (DYC)– a Nairobi based consultancy firm represented by Mrs. Margaret Waithaka gave a presentation on Mapping Career Guidance for TVET. She highlighted the growing need for professional career guidance and presented the services that DYC provides, such as career assessment tests or job fairs. In concluding her remarks, Mrs. Margaret, clearly highlighted the benefit on the CAPYEI model, which integrated life skills in the curriculum by having topics on life skills throughout the course.
At the end of the workshop, Mr. Ndungu Kahihu, Executive Director of CAP-YEI presented details of the innovative research project that is supported in the frame of the YouMatch Open Innovation Fund for Employment Services. The project aims at testing the potential for scaling up a life skills curriculum in the public TVET system by introducing it to a selected number of Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) in Kenya and assessing its impact on learning and placement outcomes against a chosen control group.
The workshop was seconded by a field visit to two of CAPYEI’s TVET schools in Naivasha and Nakuru cities on 8th September 2017 where the members WG#4 assisted the course sessions on life skills to the young people delivered by CAPYEI’s experienced trainers.