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State revs up plans to set up mining institute to seal skills gap

The Ministry of Mining has formed a team to develop mechanisms for establishing an institute to offer vocational training on mining.

The nine-member committee gazetted in May was inaugurated by CS Dan Kazungu on Friday.

The team will deliver its recommendations in February next year.

The committee has representatives from the Mining Ministry, University of Nairobi, Taita Taveta University, the Ministry of Education and TVET authority among others.

It is tasked with identifying stakeholders who can contribute to the setting up of the National Mining Institute and designate their roles.

The task force will also propose linkages with international partners to support the growth of the institution, and recommend funding mechanisms.

Kazungu said the committee’s recommendations will guide the government in setting up the facility.

He said, for instance, Base Titanium, which has set up in Lamu, has created around 3,000 jobs but only 2,000 were taken up by Kenyans because of lack of skilled workforce.

The CS said the government has always been at pains whenever investors in the mining sector bring employees from their countries.

“And it is catch 22. On one hand, you understand they need to set up quickly hence the need to bring their staff. But on the other hand, you want them to employ our citizens.”

“Often we have had to let them bring these resources for lack of them getting the right human resources here,” Kazungu said.

The CS said the state wants to see a mix of Kenyan professionals from technical institutes who can take up mechanical and technical roles in mining projects.

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