How Tatu City is Building a New Generation of Skilled Workers via their Tatu City Training Academy
Tatu City, the mixed-use urban development in Kiambu County, is not only building a new city but also creating opportunities for the local youth to acquire valuable skills and secure employment in the construction industry. The Tatu City Training Academy, launched in 2018, is a free program that offers training in various trades such as masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and painting. The program aims to equip the participants with the knowledge and practical experience they need to work on various projects at Tatu City and beyond.
The academy has so far trained over 500 youths from the surrounding communities, with more than 80% of them finding jobs at Tatu City or other construction companies. The academy also provides mentorship, life skills and entrepreneurship training to help the graduates grow personally and professionally.
One of the unique features of the program is that it is accredited by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), which means that the graduates receive nationally recognized certificates that enhance their employability and career prospects. The academy works closely with NITA and other partners such as Arcskills, a professional development agency, to ensure that the curriculum is relevant and up-to-date with the industry standards and demands.
The academy recently welcomed another 50 aspiring youths for its seventh cohort, which will run for three months. The new intake will undergo intensive training in various modules such as health and safety, quality control, site management, communication skills and technical skills.
Perminas Marisi, the Head of City Management and DCC at Tatu City, said that the academy is fulfilling its mission of empowering youth in the local community.
“By equipping them with practical skills, we are not only empowering them but also contributing to the growth and development of the construction industry,” he said.
He added that the academy is also creating a pool of skilled workers who can support the ongoing and future projects at Tatu City, which include residential, commercial, industrial, educational and recreational developments.
The academy’s graduates have expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn new skills and find employment. Some of them have even started their own businesses or joined cooperatives to offer their services to other clients.
Ann Mbaire Kariuki, a student at the academy, said that she joined the program to learn electrical skills and improve her chances of getting a job.
“I have always been interested in electrical work, but I did not have the opportunity to pursue it. When I heard about the Tatu City Training Academy, I applied immediately and I was lucky to be selected. I have learned a lot from the trainers and I am confident that I can work as an electrician after graduating,” she said.
Brian Njoroge Kuria, another student at the academy, said that he joined the program to learn carpentry skills and start his own business.
“I have always wanted to be a carpenter, but I did not have the resources or the training to do it. The Tatu City Training Academy has given me a chance to learn from experienced trainers and work on real projects. I plan to start my own carpentry workshop after graduating and offer my services to other people,” he said.
David Muriithi, a trainer from Arcskills, said that he enjoys teaching at the academy and seeing the students grow in their skills and confidence.
“The students are very eager to learn and they are very motivated. They have shown great improvement in their theoretical and practical skills. They are also very creative and innovative. They have made some amazing products such as furniture, cabinets, doors and windows using recycled materials,” he said.
He added that he hopes that the academy will continue to impact more lives and create more opportunities for the youth in Kenya.
The Tatu City Training Academy is open to anyone aged between 18 and 35 years who has completed at least primary school education and has an interest in construction. The program runs for three months and admits 50 students per cohort. The application process involves filling out an online form and attending an interview. The academy provides all the necessary tools, materials and protective equipment for the training. The students also receive a stipend for transport and lunch during the training period.