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Gatanga MP raises concern over foreigners taking up the bulk of SGR technical jobs.

Gatanga MP Eng. Joseph Nduati Ngugi flags off the 16 Wings To Fly scholars from the larger Thika District for the year 2020.
Gatanga MP Eng. Joseph Nduati Ngugi has raised concern over the manner foreigners are taking up almost all the technical and blue-collar jobs available in the country at the expense of local youth who lack the requisite technical skills.

Speaking in Thika Town during the 2020 “Wings To Fly” flag-off ceremony, Nduati noted that despite the government creating so many job opportunities within the building and construction sector, the bulk of these jobs were being taken up by foreigners, leaving the local to do the menial jobs.

“If you look at the SGR for example, a big percentage of the technical skilled jobs have been taken up by foreigners. Our youth lack the skills to take up these jobs. It is high time parents stopped keeping their children at home as they wait for white-collar jobs that are no longer available,” he said.

Nduati noted that out of over 647,000 candidates who sat for this year’s KCSE exams, barely 130,000 students managed to qualify for university admission, leaving out over 400,000 students.

“Where will these children go if everyone craves for university education with an eye for white-collar jobs? It is the high time we embraced technical training. There are so many job opportunities for those with technical skills, both locally and abroad and the time to take advantage is now,” said the MP.

He added that the government was laying so much emphasis on technical education and this year, any student being admitted to technical colleges (TVETs) was being awarded a Sh. 30,000 scholarship on admission, and another Sh. 40,000 in form of a loan.

“For the Sh. 40,000, the government will deduct Sh. 26,000 to cater for your tuition fees and the student is left with the balance of Sh. 14, 000 to cater for his own needs as pocket money,” he explained.

He asked his Gatanga Constituents to apply for this year’s Sh. 40 million bursary allocation that his CDF office has set aside to cater for fees to needy students in secondary, colleges and universities.

Thika Equity Branch Manager Sammy Karanu said that out of the 250 applicants this year from the larger Thika District that consists of Thika West, Thika East, Gatanga and Gatundu North sub-counties, they selected 16 beneficiaries.

“This is usually a very rigorous exercise due to the very limited vacancies. We do surprise home visits so as to ascertain the level of poverty and after evaluating each case by its own merits, we pick the most deserving cases that we believe have no chance of joining secondary school without external assistance,” Karanu explained.

Karanu termed the 11-year programme as a great success as it had produced so many professionals in different fields over time.

“This year alone, over 90% of our wings to fly products in Thika will join different universities both locally and internationally. This is a great achievement by any standards,” he concluded.

Among those in attendance was Mercy Wanjiku Kuria, a 2015 Wings To Fly beneficiary from Gatuanyaga Location in Thika East.

Wanjiku scored 377 marks in the KCPE 2015 exams and joined Kahuhia Girls High School in Murang’a County courtesy of the programme. This year, she sat for KCSE and score an A aggregate of 82 marks.

She attributes her success to the assistance she was accorded by the Wings To Fly Scholarship which she says, without it, she would have never made it through the secondary education.

She challenged those selected to join the programme not to take it for granted and work hard so that they achieve the goals they had in life.

Sarah Wambui, a mother of four, could not hide her joy after her last-born son was among the selected beneficiaries. For this resident of Mabanda Location in Gatanga Constituency, it was a dream come true, having missed in three of her previous attempts to have her children benefit from the programme.

The Wings To Fly Programme awards a comprehensive secondary school scholarship that includes tuition and boarding fees, books, uniform, and transport to and from school as well as pocket money for the four years of secondary school.

Furthermore, the scholars receive mentorship from outstanding role models from the academia, public service, entrepreneurship, non-profits and influential captains in various industries.

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