According to the Economic Survey 2021 report, women constitute 54 per cent or 30,290 of the 56,455 government-sponsored diploma students placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in mid-level colleges.
Female students preferring certificate courses accounted for 57 per cent of the 31,712 students placed in universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
In 2021, female students who enrolled for artisan courses were 3,477, while the number of males enrolling for the same courses stood at 2,965.
The government attributed the growth to an increased demand for students with hands-on skills, which artisan courses incline towards. The report indicated that more companies in various sectors are seeking people with middle-level skills such as diplomas and artisans to those holding degrees.
For instance, a survey by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection showed close to 40 per cent of employees in the energy sector are technical staff, driving the need for diploma holders.
The demand for people with mid-level skills has also increased globally with most countries seeking to meet the demand of adept labour. Majority of the countries lost a huge chunk of their work force at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, more foreign countries have bent backwards to on qualifications and requirements for expatriates to enable the importation of expert labour.
In January 2021, Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) signed a post-Brexit deal that would see highly qualified Kenyans without degree-level qualifications apply for work permits. The UK’s new immigration system lowered the requirement for job applicants to a minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent.
The relaxed visa rules will enable Kenyan professionals in fields such as IT, accountancy, plumbing, and electrical works to compete with other migrants.
On September 6, Uasin Gishu Governor, Jackson Mandago, announced that 51 students would be joining the Tampere University in Finland to pursue science-related courses.
The county Director of Communication, Silas Tarus, told Kenyans.co.ke that the programme was the first among many, adding that the county had signed deals that would see it export students with technical skills to countries abroad.