Nairobi, 28 February 2020 Youth from Nairobi and Turkana County, including refugees from Kakuma camp, have been selected to undertake a one-year auto mechanic and entrepreneurship training course. Through support from the Government of Japan, UNDP, UNHCR and Toyota Kenya Foundation Registered Trustees (TKFRT) have partnered to train 18 young people, Kenyan and refugees, in order them to build resilience through skill development programme at the Toyota Kenya Academy in Nairobi.

The Toyota Service Technicians for the 21 st century (TST21) course will enhance the technical skills of the trainees through a hands-on training. At the end of the course, the trainees will become professional mechanics who can serve the job market or offer new services to their communities and elsewhere within the country.

“The increase in the number of motor vehicles in the county means that the demand for our skill in automotive repair and maintenance is very high so I know that once I complete the course, I will open up a garage and service centre that will train more youth and create employment”, said Daniel Ariong, one of the trainees.

Approximately 500,000 to 800,000 Kenyan youth enter the job market annually, but the economy has not been able to absorb them in either the formal or informal employment sector. Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) is bridging this gap by providing skills that are currently in demand.

“UNDP supports technical and vocational training that matches skills to industry requirements in order to ensure that the youth become and stay relevant in the job market, as the success of our economic growth will be hinged on an adequate supply of middle-level technical skill” said Mandisa Mashologu the UNDP Deputy Resident representative.

“I would like to encourage more women to take up these technical and vocational skills, as they will boost them financially and enable them to effectively support their families. I also plan to mentor other girls in my community so that they do not shy away from these jobs,” said Monica Erika, one of the female trainees.

“The partnership between UNHCR, UNDP and Toyota is a perfect example of a forward-looking and meaningful initiative that will transform the lives of refugees and the communities hosting them. This is a training that will equip the refugees with long-lasting skills that will enable them to stand out in a competitive field and rebuild their lives when they return home,”. said the UNHCR Representative in Kenya, Fathiaa Abdalla.

Anchored under SDGs, 1 – No poverty; SDG 8 on Decent work and economic growth; and, SDG 17 on partnerships for the goals, the project leverages the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by bringing together UNDP, UNHCR and Toyota Kenya Foundation Registered Trustees (TKFRT) to empower young people by developing skills that will help them raise their income and improve their standards of living.