An analysis of the effectiveness of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in reducing youth unemployment in Kenya: a case study of Kabete Technical Training Institute
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TVET in Kenya is aimed at providing increased training opportunities for school leavers to enable them be self-supporting. The study relevance was derived from the fact that the youth unemployment numbers in Kenya have been on the increase despite the government continuous efforts to revamp the TVET institutions. The study analyzed the effectiveness of TVET in reducing youth unemployment in Kenya: A case study of Kabete Technical Training Institute. The specific objectives of the study were; to access the causes of unemployment amongst TVET graduates in Kenya, identify the type and variety of technical courses offered in TVET institutions and the skills that are imparted to the TVET students, investigate the capacity of trainers, equipment and physical facilities in TVET Institutions in Kenya and to assess the views and opinions of graduates, trainees and staff on the Kenyan economy and how it affects the absorption of TVET graduates into employment. The study applied questionnaire administration, interview and observation methods to collect qualitative and quantitative data from the following target respondents' target; principal, registrar, HoDs for technical departments, teachers, technicians, final year students and the technical courses graduates from the neighboring localities namely Kangemi, Uthiru, Kikuyu and Kinoo. This study came up with several findings. The institution had undergone positive changes in discipline and learning environment that increased the effectiveness of the trainings offered since Mr. Humphrey Kuria joined as the principal of the institution towards the end of 2005. The institution offered a variety of technical courses at diploma and certificate levels that were mainly skill-based. Unemployment rates among the graduates were very high. Most of the graduates and final year students aspired to start their own businesses on finishing training. There were no formal market surveys that were carried out before introduction of the courses. The use of outdated equipment in practical lessons resulted in acquisition of skills that were not directly applicable in the job market and hence the students required retraining. At the time of the study, this problem was being addressed through installation of new and up-to-date equipment in the departments. After graduation, the support offered was not adequate to facilitate job linkages or business start-ups for the graduates. Predominant challenges experienced by graduates during job searches were lack of relevant skills, lack of work experience and limited employment opportunities. The major recommendations include conducting formal and regular market surveys in order to establish the skills required by prospective employers and the equipment in use in the job market. It also recommended that the support offered to students during training be extended to graduates through job linkages, start up kits and regular follow ups.