New York listed GE Africa, and Kenya’s Gearbox have announced a plan to launch a ‘GE Garages’ manufacturing program to help build a skilled workforce and drive entrepreneurial development in Kenya.
The garages will feature advanced manufacturing innovations like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills for the industrial world to encourage entrepreneurial disruption and a skilled workforce for the future.
Gearbox is Kenya’s first open makerspace for design and rapid prototyping-it offers members platform to showcase their innovative ideas in the software market.
This program is in development with University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Seven Seas Technologies.
The GE Garages – Nairobi would contribute to bridging the technical skills gap in Kenya.
According to the National Manpower Survey, the percentage of vacant posts in the transport sector is 2.8percent.
Oil and Gas Sector is projected to create between 6,000 and 15,000 new jobs over the next ten years with the majority requiring technical or vocational training.
The GE Garages space, to be hosted at Gearbox’s premises, will support classes and workshops, for students, entrepreneurs, makers and others to learn more about advanced manufacturing processes, software programming and business development.
Gearbox is in the process of assembling a formidable arsenal of modern machines and CAD/CAM software for digital fabrication, alongside more traditional but essential technologies, said the company’s Chief executive, Dr Kamau Gachigi.
“Members will need to be trained on the use of this state-of-the-art equipment, but also in the soft skills that are necessary to leverage the tech-knowledge so as to successfully launch businesses,” said Gachigi.
GE would provide the necessary equipment while University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Seven Seas Technologies will provide input to program as well as training facilities.
“We are delighted to collaborate with like-minded establishments on an initiative that aims to make more Kenyan youth employable in a fast changing technology-driven world” said GE Africa, President and CEO, Jay Ireland.
“I’m looking forward to seeing great ideas that come to the GE Garage being transformed into practical business models that ultimately create more jobs in Kenya,” he said.