AHK Kenya is the German private sector’s connection to strong and positive bilateral business relationships abroad, offering both German companies and Kenyan companies services aimed at fostering and supporting smooth business relations.
As of the AHK World Business Outlook Survey (Kenya) results released in fall 2018, a quarter of the German companies operating in Kenya who responded to the survey, ranked a lack of skilled labor as a relevant hurdle to investment and business growth in Kenya operations. In addition, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Q1 Barometer, 2019, indicates that 63 percent of the respondent manufacturers intend to increase their labor force in the blue collar sector. This highlights the threat the widening skills gap plays in the country’s industrial and commercial future.
The German dual approach to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has grown and proven itself to be successful over the last century in Germany, having made a huge impact of the German economic success. It is placed to bridge the gap between the increasing need for theoretical and practical knowledge and real world application of these skills in Kenya by providing young people with the right skill set to start a successful career and provides companies with the trained employees needed to prosper and grow.
“As AHK Kenya we do not only tell about the success story and relevance of the German Dual Vocational Training to our partners here in Kenya”, emphasizes AHK`s Country Director Maren Diale-Schellschmidt. “Instead we use a hands-on approach and establish pilot projects with German and Kenyan companies and offer trainings for companies and partners who wish to follow the idea. I am very proud that we can present some our initiatives here today at this launch. I thank those who already started with us in the pilot activities and we hope to inspire more partners to join in.”
The German unemployment rate stands at below 6 percent, which is supported by the reality that 50 percent of school leavers enroll in vocational training provided by companies. Nearly 70 percent of these apprentices stay to become full time paid staff who work for the organization for most of their career and specialize in their craft. The results are high transferable skill levels and long-term stability.
The dual system encourages the direct involvement and ownership of the industry in the educational process as well as institutional stakeholders and partners. AHK Kenya supports the introduction of TVET courses inspired by the German dual system, in close cooperation with companies, in Kenya. Leading this charge is the AHK Kenya TVET Advisory Committee which was convened in late 2018.
“The German dual TVET system is a very successful competency based training system. This is why more and more countries are showing great interest in the system, its success factors and offerings, among them USA, Vietnam, India, China, South Africa and many more. That’s the reason why the German government initiated the Skills Expert program: to share the dual TVET system with German companies, their partners and other interested companies abroad”, explains Bruno Backes, project leader of the Skills Expert programme in Kenya.
“As a competency based training system needs trained trainers, AHK Kenya started in October 2018 with a Training of Trainer course in Competency Based Training (CBET) methods, based on the high standards for trainer aptitude in Germany. In February 2019 we finally launched the first dual vocational training course in Kenya in the hospitality sector.”
Dr. Lesley Lee, Chair of AHK´s TVET Advisory Committee and head of training at VW Southern Africa adds that, “The private sector lacks well-trained skilled workers and knows best where the need for skilled workers is most urgent and which skills are lacking. AHK Kenya’s TVET Advisory Committee, representing the private sector and other stakeholders of TVET, is the ideal platform for identifying the skills needed and developing strategies to evolve appropriate training courses.”
These activities of AHK Kenya in the field of Dual Vocational Training are made possible through the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy through its Skills Expert Programme.