Kenyan telco Safaricom plans to invest at least Ksh. 132 million in vocational training in Kenya through the Safaricom foundation. The initiative will see at least 3,000 young people benefiting from  a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme over the next two years.

The training will take place  ICT enabled skills centres set up across the country over the next two years. The pilot phase of the programme will be implemented at the Waithaka Technical Training Center through a partnership with the County Government of Nairobi, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).

“The programme will focus on entry level training for four key areas within the construction industry namely welding, plumbing and electrical engineering. The funds will be used for student’s fees, teacher training, setting up smart classrooms and construction of state of the art workshops” said Stephen Chege, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.

An analysis by the Higher Education Loans Board shows that employability for people with technical and vocational education and training is at 96% compared to 40% among those with a university degree.

Despite this, Kenya still has a relatively low participation in TVET with the most acute skills gaps being in construction, automotive engineering, ICT, Carpentry, animal husbandry, agribusiness, fashion and design, and the skills required for the oil and gas industry.

The TVET Centres will provide best practices in skills training, effectively addressing emerging skills gaps, aligning training with industry needs and engaging industry, government and corporates for a holistic skills ecosystem.

The telecommunication company uses the Safaricom Foundation for its CSR activities. It has partnered with partners with Kenyan communities, organizations and institutions since 2013 and has funded over 1,000 community projects which have impacted over 4.5 million people.