Factors influencing technical and entrepreneurial skills acquisition by youths in Kenya: A case of youth polytechnics in Embu county
It is estimated that over 61% (6,710,000) youths aged between 15-35 years are jobless and living below poverty line (Census report, 2009). About 92% of these youth lack vocational or professional training demanded by our agricultural based economy. The role played by youth polytechnics in the development of our country is crucial and therefore the need to improve training of youth polytechnics graduates in order for them to be efficient and effective in their service delivery is now more than ever. Technical training is a systematic development of knowledge and attitudes required of YP graduates to perform adequately on a given task or job and therefore the youth polytechnic should be able to train their trainees adequately and prepare them for world of work. Based on the above facts, the project investigated the factors influence equipping of youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills in youth polytechnics in Embu County. The study aimed at establishing and determining the extent to which entry qualifications of youth polytechnic trainees, teaching and learning equipment’s used by trainees and industrial attachment of the YP trainee’s influences equipping of youth with technical and entrepreneurship skills in youth polytechnics in Kenya. The study adapted a descriptive survey research design and used descriptive statistics models to analyze the data. The target population for the study was the County director of youth training, the youth polytechnic managers, youth polytechnic instructors and youth polytechnic trainees. A sample size of 80 was used. Questionnaires were used to collect qualitative data to ensure reliability and validity; however quantitative techniques were applied to communicate results where applicable. The data collected was analyzed to establish the relationship between independent variable with the dependent variable. The results revealed that entry qualifications of the trainees, teaching and learning materials used and industrial attachment contributed significantly to equipping of youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills training of YP trainees. The analysis established that that majority of the youth polytechnic trainee’s had Kenya certificate of primary education as their highest academic qualifications before enrolling in the polytechnic and that entry qualifications before enrolling in the polytechnic played a role in boosting effective skills training and that appropriate teaching and learning equipment and materials assist trainees in acquiring skills training to a very large extent. The study also established that that industrial attachment enhanced their technical training of youth polytechnic trainees and provided practical application of skills, safety, consciousness and interpersonal skills needed in world of work. The study concluded that promotion of technical and vocational education and training for industrialization, economic development and wealth creation and poverty eradication is now need more than ever and therefore youth polytechnics have a key role to play and cannot be ignored any more. The government must realize in principle that development of youth polytechnic education system is a key component for Kenya economic development.