An Investigation into Factors Influencing Transition Rate of Learners with Intellectual Disability from Vocational Training to Employment in Nairobi County, Kenya
Musima, Phanice Nabwana
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The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence the low transition rates of trainees with intellectual disability from vocational training to employment in Nairobi County. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to establish the effectiveness of learner preparation strategies in line with policy guidelines on transition to employment, to establish the prospective employer’s willingness to offer employment opportunities to trainees with intellectual disability, to determine factors affecting the rate of employment acquisition by trainees with intellectual disability, to establish the trainer competencies in preparing trainees with intellectual disability for transition from vocational training to employment, and to establish the trainee readiness for transition from vocational training to employment. The target population of the research was teachers, the principals from the special schools in Nairobi County and the prospective employers. A descriptive survey design was used. Purposive sampling was used to select special schools while simple random sampling was used to select prospective employers. The researcher used questionnaires, interview schedules and observation schedule as instruments for data collection. A total of 60 respondents were targeted by the study (constituting 4 head teachers, 16 vocational training teachers, 20 assistant teachers and 20 prospective employers) out of which 50 responded (constituting 4 head teachers, 16 vocational training teachers, 20 assistant teachers and 10 prospective employers) giving a response rate of 83%. The study found that different vocational subjects were offered for learners with mental disabilities such as: carpentry as indicated 31(86.1%) of the respondents, tailoring 29 (80.6%), poultry 27(75%), Agriculture 25 (69.4%) and masonry as indicated by 23 (63.9%) of the respondents. Other courses offered included: welding, weaving, bead work and arts and wood craft. It was also found that there were inadequate facilities and resources for teaching and learning in the institutions studied. On the willingness by prospective employers in offering employment opportunities, the study found that private companies and public organizations were are less willing to employ or work with trainees with intellectual disability as indicated by 88.9% and 86.1% of the respondents. Factors such as lack of supportive documents, community willingness and awareness, inadequate follow up activities, poor communication skills among trainees, poor working relationship among trainees and low productivity were found to affect the employment acquisition for trainees with disability. On the trainer competencies, the study found that even though most of the trainers are qualified, there is need for specialized for handling trainees with intellectual disability. Regarding organization for transition, the study found that (47.2%) indicated that transition was organized through teachers, 30.6% of the respondents indicated that transition was organized through networking and 22.2% of the respondents indicated that there was no organization for transition. It also came out that there were no placement officers to organize for transition. The study recommends that the government through the Ministry of Education should plan serious awareness campaigns to enlighten the public on the benefits of working with persons with intellectual disability. These should include enforcement of the already existing structures in order to improve the willingness of the prospective employers to employ people with disability. The study recommends that another study be done on the factors influencing the transition of learners with other forms of disability such as hearing and visual impairment which was not a concern in this study.