Kenya to export 30K skilled workers abroad annually

Kenya to export 30K skilled workers abroad annually

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has challenged the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) to embrace digital avenues in dispensing its mandate.

While speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the 2021 April series of the NITA trade test assessment, Chelugui noted that the future of work is digital.

“I am aware that the kind of training that NITA offers is very practical oriented and therefore required the trainee to be physically present, it was for this reason that these assessments could not be carried out earlier. I however want to challenge NITA, now that the future of work has come, you also need to quickly relook at your training methodologies and also quickly adopt to the current realities”, urged Chelugui.

This is the 125th edition of the NITA trade assessment series which will assess 38,000 trainees for the job market.

According to the ministry of labour, it is paramount that the training authority focuses on enhancing productivity among workers. This assessment will also recognize prior education acquired through skills for the informal sector.

“In this breath I wish to highlight the importance of recognition of prior learning that has recently received the much-needed attention as it focuses on the certification of training of persons in various sectors. This recognition systems address competencies acquired through non-formal and informal means”. 

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In 2020, the government through the Kenya National Qualifications Authority developed the recognition of prior learning policy framework in Kenya.

The April series, is targeting to test a total of 30,718 candidates in 401 NITA registered Trade Test centers spread across 46 counties.

Of the total number, 2,560 will be tested in proficiency trades under the World Bank sponsored Kenya Youth Employment Opportunity project.  A further 8,000 trainees will be tested under the Homecare Management program in 36 Test Centers-making a total of 38,718 candidates.


Of the total 1.2 million graduates released into the job market annually, NITA only trains about 3.3% in light of this, the government plans to scale up industrial training.

“How are we going to scale up our training capacity so we can train about 10 to 20%? We have to accredit more training centers and our own centers and therefore I am challenging the board”.

According to Chelugui, enhancing productivity through training will not only ensure skilled labour for the economy but also for export.

“Out of the1.2 million people 400,000 miss out on jobs. As an immediate target of the National Employment Authority we want to send 30,000 skilled labour abroad and we do not want to send casual labourers we want to send people with basic skills,” revealed Chelugui.

“I am now challenging NITA to take up this space,” he added.

The trade assessments are to be conducted between May 24 and June 15, 2021.

This even as the government plans to hold a National employment conference which will bring together employers and employees together with the government to chart a way forward.

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