Safaricom Foundation has officially opened a new and improved ICT enabled skills center at the Waithaka Vocational Training Centre in Nairobi. The launch is part of the foundation’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program focusing on Plumbing, Welding, Food and Beverage and Electrical Engineering.

The launch is part of the Foundation’s plan to invest in TVET institutions, with a focus on Welding, Plumbing, Food and Beverage, and Electrical Engineering.

The institution was refurbished at a cost of Ksh. 28 million including equipping the computer lab with modern ICT equipment. The other component of the program includes providing scholarships to over 700 students across various TVET institutions in the country.

“It is not enough to just tell young people to enroll in TVET courses or showing them that such qualifications lead to good career paths, we must also put in the work to ensure that they are getting the best out of it by investing in quality TVET centres. At Safaricom, we are leading the way and calling on all other stakeholders to join us in this endeavor”, said Steve Chege, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.

The centre in Waithaka will see 200 students supported over the next two years with the remaining 500 spread across 11 other institutions.

The first batch comprising of 350 students were also officially commissioned with Waithaka Training Centre admitting its initial 100 scholars. The students will not only receive fully paid scholarships, but the Foundation will also work with other partners to place them in jobs after their training.

An analysis by the Higher Education Loans Board shows that employability is at 96% for people with Technical and Vocational Education and Training compared to 40% among those with a university degree. However, TVET participation remains low with enrolment standing at only 60%.