Garden City today announced the extension of scope of its Youth Training Programme opening it up to other organisations willing to support youth in acquiring vital technical skills for the local construction sector.
The ongoing Programme, launched in 2016 and funded by Garden City’s developer, Actis, the largest real estate private equity investor in Sub-Saharan Africa, is designed to help bridge the local construction market’s current skills gap by equipping young trainees aged 18-35 in and around the Garden City area with quality, practical training that meets the recently improved local training standards.
The Youth Training Programme will now be extended to include upskilling the existing workforce to level two, as well as accepting youth training sponsorships as a Corporate Social Responsibility opportunity for other corporates and organisations. With the extension, trainees will have an opportunity to be part of the programme and will learn on-site skills in masonry, plastering, painting and plumbing, which all include training on construction health and safety.
Chris Coulson, MD of Garden City commented: “We are committed to improving quality standards within the construction sector and have seen encouraging results already from this Programme, which was first piloted for our residential construction phases, and then extended to our Business Park construction site. And now, in addition to taking on 100 trainees from our neighbourhood and nearby for our first commercial office block, which is now leasing Grade A offices, we have further extended the scope of the program to upskill our existing workforce as well. This will mean we’re not only training more people, but we’re improving the level of skills we already have on site and creating further job opportunities within Garden City’s next construction phases. As apprentice labourers become skilled and qualified, this opens up a job for an apprentice below them, which in turn creates more opportunities for employment.”
The training is delivered by partner Arc Skills, and all graduates from the programme receive an industry qualification recognised by the Nation Construction Authority (NCA), and National Industry Training Authority (NITA).
Stephen Kimenye, Project Manager Arc Skills said: “This type of program is vital to help improve our youth unemployment rates. There are a lot of contract jobs available, but we still see a significant lack of qualified local tradesmen and women in the construction trades sector, and many developers and construction companies tell us they struggle to find local workers who can meet their standards or who have sufficient qualifications. The good news is we monitor our graduates with a placement tracker which recently showed 85% engagement of our first Garden City trainees who have since found employment either within this project or on projects around the area, so it is working.”
A total of 283 young men and women were trained in a range of building and construction trades over 14 months during the first construction phase of residences for Garden City, the award winning 47-acre mixed use project on Thika Superhighway. Since October 2018, a further 100 additional trades people have been learning their skills on the Garden City Business Park (GCBP) construction site in consecutive groups of approximately 25 trainees per teaching unit. A total of 150 are due to be trained over the course of phase one of the Business Park offices build, which is due to be completed in November.
ArcSkills is a training partner for the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP), a national programme by the Kenyan Government that is sponsored by the World Bank that aims at increasing employment and earning opportunities for youth aged between 18-29 years through various skills training and entrepreneurship support. The Project, currently in its second year, is being rolled out in phases to different counties and aims to train 70,000 youth per year in remote centres.
About Garden City – The Perfect Mix
Developed by leading emerging market investor Actis, Garden City is Kenya’s first Grade-A mixed use development involving significant elements of retail, residential, leisure and office use, bringing a new ‘live, work and play’ themed experience to the market, within a safe and green environment. The site extends to 47 acres and is situated at Exit 7 along the expanded Thika Super Highway.
Garden City is a major hub for the Northern Nairobi catchment which currently does not have integrated retail, office and leisure facilities. The innovative project has, and will continue to integrate international best practices at many levels including engineering, construction, landscape architecture and services in its future phases. Environmental features lie at the heart of this development, and the project is planned to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified retail mall in East Africa. For more information please visit www.act.is
About Arc Skills
Arc Skills offers bespoke training and skills development solutions to tackle the critical skills shortages that exist in key economic sectors and industries. Our programs offer world-class, internationally accredited certifications across various industries and levels. From top management to artisan trades, we enable public and private clients to deliver on their goals and objectives while providing a sustainable positive social impact. Arc Skills also works to deliver skills development programs in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) space.
Arc Skills is a global skills development partner, offering bespoke training and skills development solutions to tackle the critical skills shortages that exist in key economic sectors and industries. Its programs offer world-class, internationally accredited certifications across various industries and levels. From top management to artisan trades, their industry demand driven courses enable public and private clients to deliver on their goals and objectives while providing a sustainable positive social impact.