Factors influencing demand for technical and vocational education and training in Nyeri county, Kenya
Vision 2030 singles out education and training as the vehicle that will drive Kenya into becoming a middle-income economy. The enrollment of technical and vocational training institutions has gone up in the recent past. This has led to the government expanding the institutions in terms of manpower and infrastructure. In 2010-2011 budget, the Kenya government allocated sh. 560millions to institutes of Science and Technology to upgrade their facilities. The high demand has also led some institutions to increase their minimum requirements for some courses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the demand for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Nyeri County. The study sought to achieve this by investigating the influence of growth in technology, rural electrification, subsidized secondary school education as well as introduction of new TVET courses on the demand for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The study adopted a descriptive study design. The study targeted all principals, heads of departments, teachers and graduating students of technical training institutions in Nyeri County. Using stratified random sampling, the researcher identified a total of 67 respondents comprising 53 students, 2 principals and 12 heads of departments to participate in the study. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedule. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were employed in data analysis. The study found that growth in technology, rural electrification, subsidized secondary school education as well as introduction of new TVET courses increased the demand for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The study concluded that growth in technology influences demand for TVET in that technology and especially information technology has opened up new markets and opportunities which require skills which can be got from courses offered in TVETs. The study concluded that rural electrification empowers people residing in rural areas to startup business; those businesses that require skills such as welding and construction force such people to pursue courses in the respective courses. These courses are available in TVETs. The study concluded that subsidized secondary enables more parents to pay and clear their children’s fees to enable them graduate from high school. The study concluded that introduction of new courses means that students can chose courses that are within their interests. This attracts more students to pursue such courses increasing the enrollment in TVETs. The study recommended that the government should provide impetus to the citizenry to promote growth in technology in other areas apart from ICT such as farming and alternative energy.