By James Nyaigoti
The Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social protection has launched the Trade Test Assessment Programme, that seeks to upscale the skills of local youths to internationally required standards.
Trade Test is a skills testing process to determine the level of competence of a person in ones occupation or trade area for the purpose of certification and subsequent entry into employment or for self-reliance in the informal sector.
“The Trade Test Assessment will help the Government equip more youth with required skills. International Labour Organisation (ILO) requires that the youth skills to be developed and improved regularly to meet the global demand. “ said Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection Simon Chelugui.
The mission of the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) is to provide quality industrial training for enhanced productivity. Towards fulfilling its mission, NITA under section 7C of the Industrial Training Act, Cap 237, has been granted the mandate to award certificates of occupations including the Government Trade Test (GTT).
This is a function that is carried out by the Assessment and Certification Department within the Authority.
Due to the Presidential Directive on COVID-19, the April Series of the Trade Tests which were meant to run from 12th April to 30th April 2021 did not take place. However, with the resumption of training the Trade Tests are scheduled to take place from May 24th to June 11th 2021.
“It is imperative that the relevance of skills formation is enhanced by having in place robust systems and tools such as the Government Trade Test that is aimed at assessing and anticipating skills needs combined with effective mechanisms and procedures which will ensure that such information feeds into policy-making and lifelong guidance,” remarked the CS during the event.
A total of 30,718 candidates will be tested in 401 NITA registered Trade Test centres spread across 46 counties. The candidates will be assessed at 3 levels, namely Grade III, II and I in 37 trade test skill areas. Of the total number, 2,560 will be tested in proficiency trades under the world bank sponsored Kenya Youth Employment Opportunity project. A further 8,000 trainees will be tested under the Homecare Management programme in 36 Test Centres-making a total of 38,718 candidates.
The Government Trade Test therefore is geared towards producing highly trained manpower with the relevant skills to easily adapt to the job market as well as to support the key sectors of the economy.
Through this Assessment and Certification exercise, NITA will continue to champion the enhancement of the skills ecosystem as a key economic catalyst driven by industrial training aimed at improving the skills system and help raise employment, industry productivity and drive industries up the value-chains.