KENYA: Don Bosco Boys Town launches plumbing apprenticeship program
Project aims to bridge the gap between training institutions and job market needs
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Boys Town (Bosco Boys), located in Nairobi, Kenya, launched the Dual Apprenticeship Training program focused on the latest plumbing technology. This program will train 50 students in its initial class and is the first of its kind in Kenya. It is approved by the Ministry of Education, made possible through the Swiss contact, and funded by the Hilti Foundation in Switzerland.
There are 11 top plumbing companies in Kenya as partners. The project aims to provide apprentices with modern technology that bridges the gap between training institutions and job market needs. The training lasts for two years and is certified.
“This training program will help youth have access to world-class training in plumbing and be relevant to the job market,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Programs like these ensure youth are able to take the skills learned in the classroom and utilize them in real working environments, benefiting both the student and the employer.”
Don Bosco Boys Town provides education and technical skills training to former street children. Students who complete their primary education are then assisted with secondary education or are advised to choose technical training in sister institutions. The secondary education is most often provided at Don Bosco Technical Secondary School in the town of Embu, northeast of Nairobi.
The two-year technical training provides youth with a wide variety of skills to choose from, including tailoring, car engineering/mechanics, carpentry, electrical work, and welding, as well as secretarial skills and a full spectrum of computer-related job skills. After graduation, more than 80 percent of graduates are employed in their fields of study. Many students go on to attend university or establish their own businesses and become entrepreneurs in Nairobi.
According to the World Bank, more than 7.8 million people in Kenya are living in extreme poverty, with the majority in rural areas. There are approximately 6.6 million people living on less than $1.90 a day in rural regions, while 1.1 million extremely poor people live in urban areas. Overall, the poverty incidence declined in recent years, but at a lower rate in urban areas than rural ones.
Youth living in Kenya’s larger cities like Nairobi are at risk for exploitation, forced labor and other abuses. Few attend the later stages of school as compared to those living in Kenya’s more rural areas. The few schools serving this disadvantaged community are beyond the financial means of most families.
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Salesian Missions – Kenya
World Bank – Kenya