With 84 per cent of Kenya’s workforce domiciled in the informal sector, the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) has introduced a new framework that will allow candidates in the Jua Kali sector to be tested on their vernacular language.
The Authority noted that the country could benefit more from this sector through proper assessment and certification of individuals by gauging their skills and their relevance in the job market.
According to the Authority’s Acting Director General Alice Kande, the new framework will allow candidates to advance through three levels where artisans in the Jua Kali sector can be tested via their vernacular language.
An Undated Image of the ‘Helicopter’ Built By the Webuye Jua Kali Artisan.
“We talk about graduates emanating from our very many institutions in our country but at the same time the industry decries that these graduates do not demonstrate or bring about skills that are relevant,” she stated.
The Authority noted that for a long time Training and assessment systems have only focused on academia but the new framework will recognise the individual’s ability to solve real-time industry problems.
“In as much as we are looking at aspects such as expressions in English and Kiswahili, we also want to make sure that person fits the bill to be given a certificate because they demonstrate they have the competence we are looking at,” Kandie added.
Equally, Toolkit skills Founder Jane Muigai echoed the director’s remarks by revealing that this will be a boost to certified youth artisans.
“We are looking at youths out there installing who are without a certificate, they can be assessed and tomorrow they can come to you with their certificate and say I am an installer, am certified, I have done this job, and did it well,” she remarked.
Kandie also noted that the authority found out that those unable to express themselves in either English or Kiswahili were equally useful in their contribution to the economy, and that it was high time they were all accommodated.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Chief Technical Advisor, Caroline Njuki underscored why it was very critical for the artisans to be certified.
“To prove that you have to produce evidence, a portfolio of evidence to an assessor from a qualification awarding institution, she remarked.
That Fundi in wherever part of the country, will hear about this certification and avail him/herself for the program,” she added.
Through the programme, plumbers, tailors, mechanics, and Jua kali artisans among others will receive internationally recognized certificates to facilitate their mobility and career progression.
The program has recorded more than 800 artisans seeking certification.
In October 2022, designated the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Higher National Diploma as an equivalent of a University Degree.
An Image of Jua Kali wares on display.