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The Director,
Community Outreach and Extension Programmes (COEP)
Road : Nigeria close, Block 4 off Ethiopia way
P O Box 43844-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 20 2310700 (DL) or 254 20 8710901-19 ext 57438
Cell: 254 720 380866
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Status and in-service training needs of the Tailoring/Dressmaking Graduates of Trade Skills Training Centre at Kenyatta University

Three major Impact assessment studies on the programmes/projects undertaken in the Directorate of COEP were done to help the directorate improve its model. The studies done were as indicated below:

This study was done to determine the impact of the training and to further determine in-service training needs of the programme graduates of 2000-2009. According to impact assessment done in the directorate in 2011 a total of 315 went through the programme and a majority of 60% either got employment or are self-employed in the related areas in different parts of the country. The major findings according to the study are listed below:

  • Most of the programme graduates are below 35 years with majority of them being at 26-30 years age category.
  • Most of the business locations for the programme graduates are within Nairobi and its environs.
  • Majority of the programme graduates are highly motivated in working and furthering their skills in Tailoring and Dressmaking related areas.
  • Most of the programme graduates are custom tailors where they design and stitch clothes for women, men and children. Majority of them are also involved in repair and renovating clothes.
  • The major challenges experienced by the programme graduates include lack of capital, inadequate skills and human relations to help them remain competitive in the apparel and fashion industry.
  • For their future plan, majority of the programme graduates indicated that they were interested in updating their skills through further training, becoming self-employed and expand their businesses.
  • The major areas indicated by the respondents as necessary for further training is technology in designing and tailoring women’s clothing. Marketing skills and interpersonal relationship were two other areas indicated as important for training.
  • Some of the youth who registered for the programme did not complete the training indicating the following reason: lack of interest and ability to continue with the course; lost their housekeeping jobs and hence relocating to other places, among other reasons.
  • Those who are not working in the related area indicated that they did not have interest/ability to continue working in this area while others indicated that they did not have capital to buy the machines and other tools for the trade.
  • The above findings prompted the directorate to think of how this center could be improved to cater for the interest and ability of those who are not benefitting from the current programmes. Below are photos of those who are either employed or are self-employed in related areas.
Baseline Study before training on Financial Education and Mentorship Training Programme for community youth under the collaboration between Kenyatta University directorate of COEP and Equity Group Foundation.

This study sought to establish the status of community youth before the training was done from a total of 5,240 community youth (3,282 (62%) male and 1,958 (38%) female) was done. Thematic areas of investigation included: personal data; social economic status; ability to budget, acquire loans, debt management, banking, keeping business records, savings and difficulties encountered in business. Summarized below are the major findings of this study:

Unemployment: Most of the youth were under employed and lived under poverty level. To cope with this problem a number of them were engaged in small scale businesses that required low capital and limited business skills. However, these businesses enabled them to barely meet their basic needs (food, shelter and clothing). Needs like medical expenses and school fees were hardly met.

Dependency: There was a high rate of dependency on the available income thus it was very challenging for the youth to promote their businesses, save their income and manage their debts.
Business competition: Over the last five years there has been a considerable growth in the number of businesses established by the youth. This could be attributed to the Economic Stimulus Programmes (ESP) initiated by the government and financial institutions. However, most of these businesses are not profitable due to duplication. Most of them also operate without licences making it difficult for them to obtain business loans from financial institutions.

Savings: It was generally observed that majority of the youth used their savings to establish businesses. However, their savings habits were poor and they lacked sufficient knowledge on available bank products and services.

Poor Debt management: Majority of those who had loans could not adequately service them indicating that the youth debt management skills were poor. The youth also did not leverage their businesses by not borrowing.

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Director COEP

Dr. Jane Kamau


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