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In spite of millions spent in a bid to equip jobless youth with the necessary skills to gain employment or start businesses, vocational training centres in Nyandarua and Laikipia counties continue to lie idle due to a lack of students.

In Nyandarua County at Ndaragwa Technical and Vocational College, there are only 50 students being trained in fashion and design, electrical and plumbing, entrepreneurship, and hairdressing and beauty.

According to the principal Ms Margaret Muthoni, the institution opened its doors three years ago and it has the capacity to enrol over 1,000 trainees.

“We have continued to witness low levels of enrolment. This is despite the government subsidising tuition fees and offering student loans through the Higher Education Loans Board [Helb],” Ms Njenga said.

The principal also revealed that the government pays Sh30,000 for every student, with the remaining Sh26, 000 paid by the trainees in three instalments.

Ndaragwa Technical, which is located four kilometres off the Nyahururu-Nyeri highway, has potential for expansion, with nine tutors already deployed.

Now, local leaders and education stakeholders are now raising the alarm over the low enrolment in technical vocational education and training institutions (Tvets) in the county.

The area MP George Gachagua urged local youth to embrace technical courses saying that today a person with technical skills is able to earn much more than one working in an office.

By Jane Kibathi.