[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very day is a working day in Kenya, yet most young people struggle to find something to do to earn a decent living. A good number have trained in various fields but lack the practical and technical skills because of gaps in training.

The construction sector has been growing tremendously over the past few years and has become one of the leading employers in the country given its high labour demand. Yet just a handful of those who take up these jobs have the requisite technical skills to deliver great work.

To help bridge technical skills gap in Kenya, HF Group, through its Foundation, is now incorporating artisans in its key projects as part of its ongoing training and internship programme aimed at improving the quality of technical skills in the construction industry.

The programme is being implemented in partnership with the German Corporation for International Development (GIZ). It supports trainees in selected institutions to gain hands-on training in occupations related to the construction sector and facilitates practical internship opportunities.

Under this programme, HF Group in December hosted a mentorship forum for 75 artisans at the Komarock Heights development in Nairobi. The artisans received certificates after completing three-month internship training in masonry, plumbing, building and construction and electrical installation.  Komarock Heights has hosted skills development training for over 500 artisans since it broke ground in September 2015.

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“This approach ensures competency-based education and training which is demand driven and also promotes enterprise culture so as to offer a wide range of employment opportunities to the youth,” said Caroline Sikasa, HF Foundation Senior Programs Manager.

The government has been pushing for TVET (technical and vocational education and training), which equips youth with technical skills that improve their employability in the labour market.

Despite the tremendous economic growth witnessed in the country, the youth still constitute an overwhelming majority of the unemployed.

Kenya’s future growth can only be secured by nurturing the youth and preparing them to take on the future with the skills necessary to keep moving the country forward.

Those who have benefited from this programme will find it easy to get jobs with different contractors or even launch their own private practices and contribute to economic development.

HF Group is the first private sector player to spearhead this Vision 2030 flagship project through partnerships with industry contractors such as Ultra Power Systems, Josil Construction Limited, Endeavors Company Limited, Aggregate Construction Limited and learning institutions such as Kenyatta University, Lamu Vocational training Centre, Ukunda Youth Polytechnic, Kisii National Polytechnic and Kaiboi Technical Training Institute.

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