Plan International and automobile manufacturer Hyundai have today commissioned the Hyundai Dream Center – a modern facility at the National Training Authority’s Athi River campus fitted with state-of-the-art hybrid and electric car engine simulators that will enhance automobile training in Kenya.
The face-lift of the facility also includes the renovation of the classes, auto care centre, motor vehicle mechanic and the auto-electrics workshop. Currently, the workshop is 80% equipped, and will be fully equipped by August 2021.
Done in partnership with the Salvador Caetano Kenya organisation and funded by Hyundai Motor Company, the Hyundai Dream Centre is aimed at enhancing the existing training facility for the automotive industry to modern standards and developing capacity for young men and women with demand-driven entrepreneurship and employability skills in the automotive industry through industrial training.
Plan International and Hyundai will sponsor 120 young women and girls between the ages of 18-35 years from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country, who will be enrolled in the 9 months training course in motor vehicle auto-electrics. The training curricula for both technical and non-technical skills have been revised to meet the labour market expectations.
Speaking during the launch, Plan International Director of Operations Mr. Patrick Ngenga said that the Hyundai Dream Centre Project will address youth unemployment through enabling them to acquire technical skills in auto-electrics and non-technical demand driven employability soft skills.
“We are pleased to build capacity for our young women and girls who will change the perception that the automotive industry is male dominated. This course will bridge the gap where many young people lack job opportunities due to lack of relevant skills that match the labour market needs. The training platform will not only empower them with technical and non-technical skills, but also enable them acquire decent jobs to improve their livelihood,” said Mr. Ngenga.
Through sustainable partnerships with the private sector, the auto-electrics trainees will also benefit from placements for industrial training attachment programs hosted by various motor vehicle companies and leading garages spread across the country. Out of the over 120 beneficiaries, the first 20 pioneer trainees are currently undertaking their industrial attachment.
“The Project will focus on transferring advanced knowledge and skills in Motor Vehicles Auto-electrics, technologies; increasing the opportunities for employment and decent work for the youth and boost the number of youth engaged in wage and self- employment; and, enhancing efficiency in project management processes to facilitate self-employment and start-ups among young people”, remarked the NITA Board Director Wilson Ngahu who was representing NITA Board Chairman, Kamau Gachigi.
Other organizations and dignitaries who attended the launch were drawn from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and leading private sector players with an interest in quality industrial training.
The boost of innovative equipment at NITA is part of the realization of one of the Big 4 Agenda’s – manufacturing, that aims at assisting in training young people for improved skilled work force.