Skills Expert Conference Reviewing the Project's Success Story in Kenya
Thee Skills Expert Project (SEP) at the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce for Eastern Africa (AHK) hosted a conference to look back on 5 years of successful work towards implementing aspects of the dual vocational training (TVET) system in Kenya. It was a sad and happy occasion, formally ending the project, but also proving that with support of the project dual TVET has found its place in the Kenyan vocational training system.
"It was a difficult and rocky road, but also a road that was worthwhile and fun to travel, a road that will be continued, for the good of the Kenyan economy and Kenyan society," Bruno Backes, SEP project head, summarised the past 5 years at the conference at the Trademark Hotel. And indeed, it was a gathering of the TVET family to celebrate the end of a chapter and turn the page to open the next one.
Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, Delegate of German Industry and Commerce, and Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer welcomed everyone very warmly, especially Martina Kollberg, the representative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, which initiated and financed the program during the last five years. Mrs. Kollberg did not miss the opportunity to deliver a virtual greeting to the meeting. We want to stress once again: Without the support of the Ministry, the program would not have been feasible.
Further support came from Peter Wekesa from KNQA, Henning Post (the Chairman of the AHK TVET Advisory Committee) for Krones East Africa Ltd, Elizabeth Chege for Tribe Trademark Hotels who have supported the program from the very beginning together with the German School and last not least from Lynda Kasina, principal of Kibondeni College the first vocational training school in Kenya who had the courage to join AHK as a partner school for the dual training in the hospitality sector.
SEP is not a project, it is a program and therefore, even if the funding is now ending the program will continue under the amazing vocational training department of the AHK consisting of Esther Ndichu, Kevin Rotich and Harriet Barasa and Bruno Backes.
This team presented the many milestones achieved so far, too many to list here., but among them were
- Accreditation by KNQA as a foreign assessment and examination body.
- The first dual hospitality apprenticeship cohort started in February 2019, graduating in September 2021- with graduates receiving a German B certificate and a Kenyan diploma. Further cohorts in hospitality in Nairobi and Diani started in October 2021, further ones will follow in Mombasa, Diani and Nairobi in 2023.
- First cohort of pharmaceutical machine operators starting in November 2022, further cohorts to start for warehouse operators and shoe manufacturers to start in early 2023. And it will not stop there as the demand is growing after the first great examples with which the SEP proved the concept works well in Kenya.
- Substantial support rendered to several GIZ and other donor projects in the TVET field with the expertise from the AHK TVET team
One of the most important aspects of dual vocational training are the trainers, especially the in-company trainers, who have to be prepared for the dual training so that they will be able to pass their knowledge and skills to the trainees. Therefore, attending one of AHK’s Training of Trainers courses (AdA international) is mandatory for the success of the training. At the event at Trademark Hotel, the AHK team honored the first AdA cohort from 2018 and was especially proud to also recognize the 400th participant who successfully passed her AdA exam in November 2022. Last not least, apprentices from the first and second cohort spoke at the event.
All in all, a worthy “farewell” to the Skills Expert Project and a start into the future without the project support, but proving that through it we were able to build up sustainable TVET services that we will continue with full force and enthusiasm!
Publications on the topic
TVET Skills Expert project 2022