Plan International Kenya has partnered with consortium members National Industrial Training Authority (NITA)-Athi River and Salvador Caetano Kenya Limited in accomplishing the Hyundai Dream Center Kenya. It’s a three-year project funded by Hyundai Motor Company-Korea which supports young people between the ages of 18-26.
The Hyundai Dream Center commenced in 2021 and has currently overseen the training of up to 150 learners who have been equipped with demand-driven skills and employability skills for the automotive industry. Hyundai Dream Center Kenya is the newest dream center in the world after others in Ghana, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Peru, and Indonesia.
Automotive Industry has for a while been majorly dominated by male workers as the perception implied wasn’t well embraced by the women and girls to enter the sector for employment. Out of the 150 trained personnel by Hyundai Dream Center, 68 are girls and more girls and women are urged to enter this field.
According to Hellen Ndegwa from NITA Athi River, the transition being undergone currently is impressive and inspirational having girls and women enter this motor vehicle auto electrics. “I have been in this industry for a decade now and earlier on I was alone most of the time in the sectors, garages, and workshops but this has changed a lot lately as the girls and women are increasing within the auto electrics motor sector,” said Hellen Ndegwa.
The vision of the Hyundai Dream Center is embedded in increasing access to demand-driven skills and decent jobs for young men and women in Kenya. Thereby offering young people demand-driven technical and non-technical skills in motor vehicle electrics which are some of the drivers to securing decent jobs for young people.
“Some of the main reasons for high unemployment rates is the mismatch between trained skills in the institutions and the jobs available on the market. Hereby Hyundai Dream Center seeks to ease acquiring of life skills and behavioral skills for the young people enabling their fitting into the jobs,” said George Kamau Director of Program Strategy, Development and Innovation, PLAN International.
Based on the reports from KNBS, George Kamau emphasized the need to address the unemployment rates, citing that up to 5.7 million young people are unemployed in Kenya, amongst whom girls and women suffer more.
Hereby girls and women are urged to embrace and join the training at NITA-Athi River as it equips trainees with life skills of the 21st Century that make them eligible for the labor markets that are consistently evolving.
According to one of the trainees, the program has enabled her to learn skills of operating the auto electric cars both automatic and Hybrid as she fits in the job market bearing her skills and the advancement of auto motors. “As we enter this so-called male-dominated sector, there is a need for us to relate with the men and cooperate to build more productivity and grow both physically, mentally, and skill-wise. It’s an industry for both of us to make a living from with dedication and determination it’s all possible,” she said.