The Ministry of Education wants to extend the retirement age of Technical and Vocational Education trainers and principals to 65 years.
The ministry is in discussion with the Public Service Commission to actualise the proposal.
Vocational and Technical Training PS Margaret Mwakima said the discussion started last week.
Mwakima wondered why it should not happen with TVET institutions, when it’s already happening at the Kenya Technical Trainers Colleges.
“This is what we want to progress to as early as this week or next week and we are hoping the PSC will support us,” she said.
“I know some people will think this will disadvantage the youth but what we are saying is once a skill is acquired, it is made sharper with experience and time.”
Mwakima spoke during the third graduation of the Nyeri National Polytechnic held at the institution on Monday.
She said the department has not recruited for a while and therefore cannot afford to lose the experienced trainers.
There is also an ongoing discussion with the PSC to have TVET principals given position of directors, especially those running institutions of more than 5,000 trainees.
“Most principals are running institutions with over 10,000 compared to others with less than 5,000 students yet they are directors,” she said.
“Others have been running over 100 programmes in one institution.”
She observed the promotion will motivate principals to continue serving with dedication and commitment.
“We also want to celebrate our academic and non-academic staff and I wish to appreciate your patience. We have been promoting you and we will continue because we also wish to do better as we go into the next financial year,” she said.
The PS assured the board of governors and councils in other TVET institutions that the government was committed to them.
The PSC, Mwakima said, has allowed the ministry to recruit another 3,000 trainers, saying beginning the next financial year, the ministry will start by recruiting at least 1,000.
Those employed by boards and councils will be considered because of their experience.
The government is investing resources in modernising and expanding TVETS to meet the human resource needs of the industry and reequip the institutions.
The ministry, she added, is also finalising discussions to elevate nine TVET institutions into national polytechnics.
This will increase the national polytechnics from 13 to 22 nationally.
The government has invested in increasing TVET institutions from 52 in 2013 to 238 in 2022 at a cost Sh10.6 billion.
“Out of the 238 TVET institutions, 192 are operational and 46 are nearing completion,” she said.
She said due to the Sh10.3 billion capitation government grants and Sh11.1 billion Helb loans to TVET trainees since 2019, there has been an increase in enrolment from 55,945 in 2013 to 249, 316 in 2022.
The institution’s Chief principal Anne Mwangi said 2853 trainees graduated with higher diploma, diploma and certificates.
The polytechnic has 7,345 trainees, 3,900 males and 3,414 females.