Investigating Attitudes of Learners and Graduates to Blue Collar Jobs in Institutions of Higher Education in Kenya

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Investigating Attitudes of Learners and Graduates to Blue Collar Jobs in Institutions of Higher Education in Kenya

Based on the previous A-level education system in Kenya, students in colleges and universities still believe in being provided with “white-collar jobs” in the government sector or NGOs. Unfortunately, their dreams turn out otherwise, as this is not realized. Some end up sinking into confusion and eventually depression. Lack of “white collar jobs” affect their lives negatively. This paper looks into the changing attitudes of learners on their future employment particularly in Kenya. According to the speech made by the Minister of Education in Kenya, Prof. George Magokha, some college and university graduates hold academic papers for disciplines that may be obsolete. Kenya’s Ominde Commission Report 1963/64 recommended an “Education for self-reliance”. However, there are setbacks in realizing this goal. According to the report, training of students should be focused on self-reliance, practical skills and converting acquired knowledge and skills to benefit self and the community. In this respect, universities should train learners on practical jobs “hands at work” such as engineering, construction, agriculture, plumbing, tailoring, housekeeping, grooming, among others. The paper provides insight into these issues.

The population of study consisted of university and college graduates; and continuing students. Research methods used were online google questionnaires. Findings showed that graduates spent a lot of time applying to various institutions for employment with little or no success. Some opted for self-employment in cybercafés, Lukenya University Multidisciplinary Journal (LUMJ), Vol.1, August 25, 2021, ISSN 2663-3183 | 48 hairdressing, grooming, cookery, agriculture, to name but a few. Others opted to retraining for manual jobs and these turn out to be time consuming and costly to parents sponsoring the students. Based on the findings, the following recommendations are suggested: Apart from adopting the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) that was already on course, guidance and counselling programs should be emphasized in formal and nonformal education. Parents and other stakeholders should participate in moulding the youth to participate in development. This would reduce the costs of importing expertise
into the country.

Keywords: Attitudes, Curriculum, Learners, Blue-Collar jobs, White-Collar jobs.

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