Gachagua advises employers to focus on applicant’s competencies, not academic qualifications

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua

Majority of Kenyans miss out on job opportunities for lack of certification although skilled in various fields.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said although education should a requirement during job application, employers should not use it as the only yardstick for employment.

‘‘Let’s firm use skills and competencies to measure job applicants. Applicants should be recognized on the ability they possess,” Gachagua said.

Gachagua added that youth should be given an opportunity to scale up without limitations. ”We deny these people opportunities because they lack papers. But we have those with papers but lack competencies.”

He was speaking during the launch Recognition Prior Learning at KICC last week.

Gachagua said the employers including the Government should focus on experience and skills rather than education.

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However, he added, ”Those with skills should find a way of getting certification to compete favourably with the rest.”

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu emphasized the policy’s role as a channel for transitioning from informal to formal sectors, facilitating smoother transitions between education and the job market.

“The policy opens new doors for more flexible pathways through any curriculum, thus enabling greater participation in higher education by learners from various backgrounds,” stated Machogu.

”This is an indication of an urgent need to encourage girls and women to apply for RPL assessment,” Machogu added.

The Principal Secretary, State Department for Technical Vocational Education and Training Dr Esther Muoria, said the policy will provide alternative progression and admission to education

“Recognition and certification of existing skills and competences will also bridge skill gaps more efficiently allowing individuals to enter the workforce with ease,” Dr Muoria said.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General Dr Alice Kande assured Kenyans that the policy and guidelines will provide standards of assessing and certifying the skills and competencies acquired through experience.

“This will enable our skilled, but uncertified youths to be awarded certificates based on individual competencies thus expanding their opportunities in employment and advanced learning,” she stated.

By Mike Kihaki

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