I live in a country with 48.46 million people as of the last census that was carried out in the year 2016, when the last census was conducted. Of the 48.46 million, I fall under a category known as the youth, which according to the same census, accounts for 10.8 million people. As a youth in this wonderful country, my future lies in the hands of the current conditions which governs daily life. These include access to basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, All of which, I have come to realize depends hugely on my ability to generate a sustainable income, that is able to provide the quality of life I want.
After graduating from one of the best universities in the country, I had the privilege of landing in a job, a privilege that not too many of my former classmates got immediately. However, they did not sit down and wait for a magical occurrence to take place, but instead,some of them went into entrepreneurship, a field that is usually considered ‘risky’ while others are still at home, hoping for the best.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 53.4% of the population mentioned above are within the working age and in the year 2017, the Human Development Index by the United Nations placed the rate of unemployment in the country at 39.1%, which when calculated against the number of people in the country brings it to about 10.12 million people who do not have a source of income.
One of the things that I’ve been exposed to in the past year is the possibility of job creation by the youth, or anyone for that matter, without necessarily going through the whole process of heading to study for 4 years. The possibility of youth empowerment through access to technical training that has in the past been considered as ‘for failures’ or ‘for E students’. What is this ‘thing’ that could help us? Vocational Training.
Vocational training involves the training of individuals to have practical skills that would not normally be accessed through our current education systems. These skills may include, but is not limited to; tailoring, construction, electrical wiring, business management, and, as I have come to learn,key interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Quick question(s), how many electricians do you know on a personal level? How many plumbers? And yet, we all have houses that require these services on a daily basis?
Will we be able to reach that ‘industrialized’ level that our country has set out to achieve by the year 2030? And, who are these that will be able to create and fill these gaps that the industrialization offers? Probably an individual who did not have the ‘privilege’ of going to the mainstream university with a white collar job promise, but instead, registered at a local vocational training center.