Mr Nyakera said that the government was determined to fulfil its manifesto of providing employment to the youth.
The government is determined to ensure that Kenyans get the requisite skills and training to run the standard gauge railway (SGR) line upon its completion, the Principal Secretary for Transport Irungu Nyakera has said.
“Skills transfer is mandatory in order to ensure seamless operation and management of the railway line upon its official launch.
“Our aim as a government is to build local capacity where Kenyan professionals will be exposed to aspects of design, construction and management of railways,” said Mr Nyakera.
Mr Nyakera said that the government was determined to fulfil its manifesto of providing employment to the youth through projects like SGR and others that it had undertaken.
“This project will contribute greatly in providing employment to our youth as is in our manifesto.
“So far, the SGR project has created job opportunities for Kenyans with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) having directly employed 19,000 workers and additional 8,000-plus employed by sub-contractors,” he added.
SH1BN INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADE
He lauded the Railway Training Institute’s efforts in providing a pool of competent human workforce adding that the government has committed Sh1 billion towards infrastructure upgrade and equipping training workshops with state-of-the-art training equipment, the same as what CRBC have pledged to give towards the construction of an engineering school in the institution.
The PS was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of technicians who have been undergoing training at the Railway Training Institute.
A total of 102 technicians received their certifications after a four-month training in telecommunications control engineering, traffic and transport management and locomotive maintenance.
EFFICIENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Mr Nyakera added that the government was committed to ensuring that an effective and efficient transport system is developed in line with its commitment to achieving the Vision 2030 blueprint.
“The government indeed recognises that infrastructure is key to development.
“With the transport sector contributing between five and 15 per cent of the GDP, we recognise that we enjoy a [geographically] strategic location surrounded by growing economies that provide an enormous opportunity for transport business,” said the PS.
CRBC is currently constructing the first phase of the SGR between Mombasa and Nairobi, which is expected to be ready for use by June 2017.
Work on the first segment of the second phase between Nairobi and Naivasha has already begun.
The SGR, once in use, is expected to improve speed and capacity of railway transport in the country, improving trade internally and also with neighbouring countries.