Alibhai Shariff Centre of Excellence has been launched in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology and Housing Finance Foundation. The Centre, located in the Thika Road Mall, will enable local artisans to access free vocational training in carpentry, metal fabrication, painting and electrical works.The Centre will provide free vocational training to artisans in electrical works, carpentry, metal fabrication, and painting
It was launched in response to the growing consumer needs that are a reflection of the accelerated infrastructure development in the country, which will need to be supported by a diverse set of skills and services.
“Developing competence among local artisans will help empower small scale businesses and individuals, who are the real growth drivers of the country’s economy.
It will enable them to actively participate in the growing sector, and to produce goods and services that can stand the challenge of international competition. As a business, we appreciate the fact that we stand to benefit by having ready access to expertise from a local talent pool,” explained Mr.Rafiq Shariff, CEO of Alibhai Shariff.
Mr. Peter Kariuki, Governance, Accountability and Delivery Advisor to the Presidency underscored the importance of the initiative during the Centre’s launch.
“Recent studies have indicated a dearth of international artisanship skills in the country – a gap that would certainly decelerate Kenya’s steps towards transforming her infrastructure, in line with the Kenya Vision 2030 goals and recent devolution of county governments. This national metamorphosis into a middle-income country by 2030, if facilitated through locally-skilled labour, will satisfy the directive of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, which stipulates that 30% of all national construction work be granted to local companies, including artisans, resulting in overall ameliorated standards of living.”
The Alibhai Shariff Centre of Excellence will also collaborate with the National Construction Authority, the industry regulator, to have the artisans accredited. Creating a benchmark for local goods and services will ultimately improve the quality of products and services available to end-users.
To kick start the initiative, six instructors, selected in partnership with the Mafundi Wa Kenya Association, were sponsored by Alibhai Shariff and their international partners, Dewalt, to attend a Global Tool Trainer Certification (GTTC) at the Stanley Black and Decker University in Dubai. The instructors have been using their newly-acquired skills to enhance the workmanship of trainees at the Alibhai Shariff Centre of Excellence. In its first week of operation, a total of 73 artisans were trained at the Centre. Notably, 10% of these trainees were women, a commendable achievement in this male-dominated profession.
“Beyond an assurance of the quality of our products, we remain committed to working with partners who are also keen to promote sustainable local supply chains. We will partner with a variety of organizations to facilitate the provision of even more vocational training programmes,” stated Mr.Rafiq Shariff.
The company will work with the Government of Kenya and the Housing Finance Foundation, under the latter’s flagship programme of creating an “army of 1 million artisans”. Housing Finance Foundation and Alibhai Shariff have also partnered with Sadolin Paints (E.A.) Limited, to train the artisans in professional painting services.
About Alibhai Shariff
Alibhai Shariff has been in operation in Kenya for the past 91 years. Renowned for its provision of quality and holistic construction solutions, the company provides a range of products and services for domestic and commercial use including: hardware, sanitary ware, equipment as well as DIY tools from leading local and international brands. At Alibhai Shariff, we strive to “create beautiful, quality spaces for work and living” and constantly strive towards growing our business for this very purpose.