|The Transition of Youth from School to Work: Issues and Policies (IIEP, 2000, 188 p.)|
|Chapter IV. The integration of youth into the informal sector: the Kenyan experience by Ahmed K. Ferej|
Kenya will continue to rely on the informal sector for many years for employment creation for the youth coming out of the school system, retrenched employees and retirees, due to the depressed economic factors. It is also true that the majority of new entrants into the informal sector will continue to be the youth, as they form the largest number of job-seekers. For the youth, therefore, education and training to prepare them for work in the informal sector is extremely important. Adult entrants would normally have some work experience already.
The World Bank project is expected to attempt to bridge the gap between informal sector training and formal training systems. Already, a large number of youth in the informal sector have obtained training though the Bank-financed voucher system. It should be noted that most of the technical training that has been conducted to date has been by Master Craftsmen or private training providers, rather than the VTIs. This is indeed a healthy sign because market forces would seem to be at work in determining the choice of providers by the voucher holders. But if institutionalization is to be established, the VTIs need to be more active participants as resources expended through them may go into developing long-term training programmes. At the same time, because of the cash incentives provided by the World Bank project, the VTIs and the informal sector could be brought together and help to reduce mutual distrust between the groups.
As more youth with an ever-increasing level of formal education enter the informal sector, so will it be easier to integrate training within the sector and the formal training providers such as the VTIs. VTIs however will have to do more to inject the necessary flexibility into their programmes to attract more trainees from the informal sector. In spite of reducing job prospects in the modern formal sector, VTI training is still pegged to the needs of the formal sector, the introduction of entrepreneurship education notwithstanding.
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