VIU partners with Kenyan college to establish new electrical trades program

Beatrice Nyariki, Kisii National Polytechnic registrar, shaking hands with a VIU carpentry student on a past benchmarking visit to VIU. || VIU photo
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Vancouver Island University (VIU) has joined an initiative focused on increasing the participation of young Kenyans, particularly women, in skills training programs that will provide employment opportunities.

The Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works in Kenya initiative aims to build 26 technical and vocational education and training centres of excellence in Kenya over the next five years. 

The centres will provide skills training programs for economic growth in Kenya’s manufacturing, food security and nutrition, universal health care coverage, affordable housing and digital sectors.

VIU faculty will work with Kenyan colleagues to adopt curriculum and learning materials for the new program, train the Kenyan instructors and provide additional support during the implementation.

“Our partners decided to focus on training junior electricians to support the strong demand for workers in the construction trades,” said Darrell Harvey, VIU’s manager of global engagement. “Enhancing their electrical offerings will also build upon the new program in building technology at Kisii National Polytechnic that we launched together earlier this year.”

Harvey said this is an opportunity for VIU to deepen its relationship with Kisii National Polytechnic and engage in new areas of the university’s international cooperation work.

“With an expansion into new trades areas in Kenya, additional VIU instructors will be able to broaden their global perspective and enhance their intercultural competency skills. There will also be opportunities for other student service areas to become involved in these global engagement activities,” said Harvey.

A total of 15 Canadian post-secondary institutions are participating in the initiative, created in partnership with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the Mastercard Foundation. VIU said it is collaborating with Durham College and Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning as part of a $360,000 project to strengthen and support technical and vocational education and training at three Kenyan institutions.

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