Labor and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore has hailed the government trade test agenda as a milestone in promoting quality, relevance and inclusivity in education and quality skills.
Trade testing is a systematic way of evaluating the skills of an apprentice to ascertain competencies possessed in a given trade area.
Speaking at a workshop held at National Industrial Training Institute (NITA), Mombasa, the CS noted that there are over 500 institutions and workplaces spread throughout the country, which have been accredited and approved as testing centres, five of them under NITA.
NITA is mandated under Industrial Training Act Cap.237 and the Amendment Act 2011 to conduct testing and issue certificates to successful candidates.
“December has had a total of 32,279 candidates up from August which had 21,696 candidates marking a rise of 45.2 per cent,” said Bore.
“Through the trade test, NITA endeavours to build and sustain linkages and collaborations with interested parties to enhance synergies among players in industrial training and regulation in pursuit of the realization of the Kenya vision 2030,” the CS said.
Bore promised to establish more trade test centres throughout the country for more candidates’ intake which facilitates everyone with apprenticeship skills or a passion for the same.
She commended the rise in intake for added job opportunities asserting that the affordable housing project that is planned to be launched in 2023 in every county, will require workers with most of the skills that are offered by the trade test centres which include, welding, plumbing electrical installation, hairdressing and beauty therapy.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was also encouraged in the training centres for the candidates to acquire certificates which will increase their chances at employment.
The CS explained that the RPL programme is a process used to identify, assess and certify a candidate’s knowledge, skills and competencies acquired in non-formal and informal learning.
On the issues surrounding Kenyans working in foreign countries, Bore noted that strategies are ongoing to visit some of the countries with high numbers of Kenyans employed to discuss and come up with better solutions for the welfare of Kenyan employees.
“Some of the key areas of deliberation will revolve around safe houses, health insurance covers, adequate salary, conducive working hours and ample rest for the employees, '' Bore added.