TVET Institutions, Devolved Governance and Youth Training and Employment in Kenya: Exploratory Perspectives
Musyoka, Patrick Kiliku
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There is a substantial body of research literature that documents the critical role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in manpower development especially in emergent economies. While acknowledging the challenges that accompany many a TVET programme in these regions such as low efficiency and poor quality, the current discussion explores the potential synergies that could be mapped and harnessed between TVET institutions and structures of devolved governance in Kenya and how these synergies could be channelled toward youth training and employment in Kenya. Using Chapter Eleven [Devolved Government] of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) as a backdrop, the discussion identifies gaps in training for devolved governance that TVET institutions could exploit on the basis of the functions of county governments as outlined in Fourth Schedule of the Constitution. In particular, TVET institutions could fill the gaps in training for devolved governance in agriculture, natural resource management and environmental conservation, public health and emergency services, cultural activities and the management of public entertainment and amenities, county transport and public works, animal control and welfare, trade development and regulation, county planning and development, delivery of pre-primary education and childcare facilities, management of village polytechnics and home craft centres, and control of drugs and pornography. The operationalisation of county governments as per the Constitution requires a critical mass of well trained human resources in all these areas and these human resources don't have to be trained in tertiary institutions and/or universities, or be deployed from the national government for the long term. The discussion posits that a coordinated effort by TVET institutions to develop and offer training tailored toward ensuring that county governments meet their constitutionally delegated mandate provides immense opportunities for youth training and subsequent youth employment in Kenya - and possibly elsewhere.