Base Titanium, the Australian mining firm based in Kwale, has taken a creative approach to tackle the high unemployment rate in the coastal county. They have launched a vocational skills empowerment program that aims to equip the local youth with practical skills and reduce poverty.
The program, known as the ‘Community Skills Programme,’ targets young individuals from villages near the Kwale mine site. These ambitious youth have the opportunity to enroll in local vocational training institutes and receive training in various trades such as engineering, carpentry, welding, masonry, refrigeration and air conditioning, beauty therapy, tailoring, and dressmaking.
Recently, the program celebrated its first graduation ceremony, where 43 local youth from Msambweni sub-county were awarded trade certificates. As a sign of support and encouragement, each graduate received apprenticeship tools and equipment to kickstart their own businesses. This ceremony not only honored their achievements but also recognized them as champions within their community.
Simon Wall, the General Manager of External Affairs at Base Titanium, expressed the company’s excitement in transforming the lives of young people through this vocational skills program. He emphasized the importance of preparing the youth for productive and fulfilling lives by equipping them with practical skills. He urged the graduates to make the most of the training they received and apply their newfound skills to create a dignified livelihood.
Wall revealed that the program is currently being implemented in Msambweni sub-county, which suffers from high youth unemployment and limited economic opportunities. He highlighted the company’s commitment to breaking down barriers to employment by providing skills training and creating livelihood opportunities for the local youth. In fact, an additional 75 youngsters are currently undergoing similar training in different skill areas.
According to Wall, many of the youth have attended school, but the quality of their education has left them lacking the necessary skills for self-employment. Base Titanium aims to bridge this gap and make a significant impact on youth unemployment and skills development, ultimately leading to job creation.
Wall issued a challenge to the pioneering graduates, encouraging them to pass on their knowledge and become employers themselves. He assured them that the mining firm would continue to support and provide skill training to the local youth.
Kipkech Lotiatia, the Deputy County Commissioner of Msambweni sub-county, commended the program for its focus on improving livelihoods and reducing poverty among unemployed youth. He stressed the importance of embracing vocational training and acquiring practical skills to achieve independence. Lotiatia highlighted that white-collar jobs are scarce, making skill acquisition essential for a sustainable living. He also urged Base Titanium to invest further in training the local youth.
Lotiatia encouraged the young participants to seize this opportunity to acquire hands-on skills that would enable them to actively participate in the local economy. He emphasized that these skills would empower vulnerable youth to secure decent employment or become self-employed, ultimately contributing to the economic growth of their communities.
With the dedication and support of organizations like Base Titanium, we can unlock the potential of our youth, create economic opportunities, and build a brighter future for all.