Young Africa Works program aims to increase youth workforce participation
College of the Rockies, in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Lakeland College, has been selected to support the Young Africa Works in Kenya: Youth Employability Through Technical and Vocation Education and Training (Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET) program. This initiative aims to increase employment opportunities for young people, particularly young women in Kenya.
Through the $1.8 million project, College of the Rockies and its Canadian partners will work to strengthen and support technical and vocational education and training at four institutions in Kenya’s Northern Rift Valley: Eldoret National Polytechnic, Kitale National Polytechnic, Lodwar Vocational Training Centre, and Baringo Technical College. Between August 2021 and September 2024, the Canadian institutions will assist in introducing 24 training programs aimed at producing work-ready graduates, expand industry engagement, facilitate trainer exchanges between Kenya and Canada, and help strengthen gender equality and inclusion efforts.
“We have a long history of supporting educational needs in East Africa and look forward to continuing this work alongside BCIT and Lakeland College,” said Paul Vogt, College of the Rockies President and CEO. “Education is key to growing industry in Africa and to creating sustainable careers for young African women and men and we’re excited to play a role in creating these opportunities.”
The Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET initiative was created out of a partnership between Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the Mastercard Foundation as part of a five-year initiative (2020-2025) with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, relevant Kenyan agencies, and the private sector. The initiative aims to increase youth workforce participation in Kenya’s ‘Big Four’ sectors (manufacturing, affordable housing, universal health coverage, and food security), as well as the digital sector. The program also seeks to establish and strengthen policies and procedures that promote safe learning environments, provide gender equality training to administrators, and awareness building workshops for government officials.
“Young Africa Works in Kenya aims to enable five million young people to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Strengthening the delivery of technical and vocational training – and ensuring it is accessible and reflective of private sector demand – is key to that. We are excited to partner with College of the Rockies to advance inclusive and relevant access to skills training opportunities that transform and improve young people’s lives,” said Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, East and Southern Africa at the Mastercard Foundation.
“Young Africa Works is an opportunity for us to build on over a decade of project experience in this region,” said Kerry Brinkert, Manager of International Projects and Partnerships. “We look forward to both supporting our new Kenyan partners and learning a great deal from them.”
The College’s participation in Young Africa Works in Kenya will enable additional trades instructors and other College employees to share their expertise with Kenyan partners while enhancing their intercultural competencies and global awareness.
“From past projects in Africa, we have seen how valuable international engagement is for our instructors,” said Dean of Trades and Technologies, Jack Moes. “When they return from an international assignment, our faculty bring home new perspectives and a heightened ability to teach in our increasingly diversified classrooms at the College.”
Learn more about College of the Rockies.
About College of the Rockies
For more than 45 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry, and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education, and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management.
For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Young Africa Works
Young Africa Works is Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Africa will have the largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the labour market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa’s overall competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities.
Mastercard Foundation will implement the Young Africa Works program in 10 African countries in partnership with governments, private sector, business leaders, educators, and youth. In the initial phase, the countries identified by Mastercard Foundation include Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda.
For more information, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org.
Diana Moraa, Partner, Program Communications