Policy gaps in Skill development in the informal sector in Kenya, challenges from a historical perspective
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Before independence, the Kenyan education was based on racial segregation, in this arrangement; Africans received an inferior form of education, which was elementary and later were trained as masons, carpenters and armature architects. Since independence, the Kenyan government has come up with policies to make the education relevant and establish social equity and train the highly skilled staff needed for economic growth. Despite all these efforts,large skill gaps exist which is an impediment to economic growth.Increasing enrolment at all levels has been the hallmark of performance of the education system, under the international call to implement Education For All (EFA). The education system has increasingly turned out a large number of school leavers at all levels. Many of these graduates lack skills to obtain gainful employment in the formal sector. Skills shortages affect the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which are driving the creation of jobs. This issue has not been addressed adequately by national polices on education and training.This paper explores skills shortage and skills gap as separate and distinct phenomena. It discusses the weaknesses of the Kenya Government policies on skills development. It explores theories that support skills development and transfer and makes recommendations that will help improve the current skills problem in Kenya.