Krones Academy in Nairobi empowers school leavers
German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller visited the Krones Academy East Africa in Nairobi last week. Together with a delegation from Germany Müller visited the facilities and met some of the students who are part of the training programme. Mary Nyingi is one of the 19 young engineering scholars undergoing a rigorous industrial training to sharpen their technical skills at Krones Academy East Africa in Nairobi Kenya. The training aims to inculcate technical skills in the graduates in order to make them competitive and relevant for the job market.
Enlarge image German Development Minister Gerd Müller at the German-African Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya (© picture-alliance/dpa/B. Otieno) “It has been a life changing, eye opening experience. My apprenticeship at Krones has really transformed the way I used to view things in the world of engineering. It has really impacted my career to a point that I feel more confident than when I left college,” said Nyingi about her experience of the programme.
Nyingi graduated with a diploma in mechanical engineering in 2013 from Nyeri Technical Training Institute. “What we did back at the college was largely theoretical and left many of us with very little practical experience relevant to the challenges facing the world today,” she added.
Lack of practical experience by job applicants, rising demand for machines and equipment service as a result of growing technology means graduates will require more than just knowledge acquired in classroom. Such job market realities compelled three giant companies in East Africa to join forces and establish training centres to ground graduates with practical experiences for job market demand.
The training centres in Nairobi enable young students like Bernard Odhiambo, a 17 year-old boy from a humble background, to access training easily at no extra cost. Odhiambo is among six students who are going to benefit from German-sponsored institution. He completed high school in 2016 and will be pursuing electrical and electronic engineering course at Krones academy.
“This is a dream come true for me. I wanted to take a course that is more technical than merely theoretical. I don’t want to join the best university just for the sake of getting a certificate at the end of my studies,” young Odhiambo says. “Krones, Centurion Systems and Coca-Cola have given me that opportunity and I am ready to train and make a difference in my generation with the skills I will go away with from this place.”
Enlarge image Mary Nyingi demonstrates how a electro-pneumatic works to German delegates (© GIC Africa) Evelyn Wambui, 17 year-old girl equally from a humble background, is confident that the training will afford her the opportunity to gain practical skills necessary to start up her own business empire and help her family as well. Wambui is studying web design and electronic engineering. “I want to learn web designing in a more technical and practical way so that I can go out in the world as experienced web designer,” Wambui said after receiving an admission letter from the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller to study at the Krones academy.
Gerd Müller encouraged scholars to focus on more practical skills that will make them more relevant and competitive for job market.
“Young people like you have a strong brain, to work theoretically, and your hands to work in a practical way,” Müller told the young scholars. “Vocational education and training brings together the aspects of practical and theory to help in the development of a country.”
Krones academy is a public-private partnership initiative by the German Government, KfW (German Development Bank) and DEG (German Investment and Development Co-operation)
About the Krones Training Centre
Krones AG, Centurion Systems, Nairobi Bottlers Limited (Coca-Cola Sabco) came together to establish the training centre; to provide graduates with practical skills and bridge the gap between the theoretical knowledge students gain at colleges and the practical skills needed for industry.
The three firms allow trainees to spend a part of the programme in each of the three companies, and gain technical hands-on experience in various fields that are in line with the key competencies in the company concerned. All three companies have subsidiaries and training centres in and around the Kenyan capital of Nairobi which ensures scholars are able to access the training facilities conveniently.