Impact of vocational training on job placement for persons with intellectual disability in Nakuru County, Kenya
Ogege, Nelly Dullo
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This was a descriptive survey design study aimed at determining the vocational training impact on job placement for persons with intellectual disability (PWID) in Nakuru municipality, Nakuru County, Kenya. The study was to; establish prevocational skills received prior to joining vocational training programs, determine vocational programs in special schools, determine activities carried out in sheltered workshops and assess transitional programs available in special schools. Target populations were special schools for PWID with vocational training programs. Two special schools with vocational programs were purposively selected. The study population included; two head teachers, seven vocational teachers, forty eight current learners and their parents and thirty four former learners and their parents all from the selected schools. From each of the two sampled special schools, the head teacher of the school, three vocational teachers, seven present learners and seven current parents were purposively selected. Snowball method was used to sample ten former learners and ten former parents. Questionnaires, interview guides and observation schedules were used to gather data. Pilot study was done at Venessa Grant Special School in the neighboring Rongai constituency as it has a vocational program. Content validity of tools was established to ensure they measured the content of the concepts and reliability was ensured through a test-retest procedure to the pilot group. Data collected was analyzed through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. Frequency tallies and percentage calculations were applied. Findings of this study were; pre-vocational skills being offered to PWID learners although some skills given less preference. Also noted was that vocational skills were offered although the technical ones were ignored by learners with ID. Sheltered workshop was given preference for job placement by majority of teacher and parent of PWID learners however; demerits of the same were also sighted. Lastly, transitional programs were available in the institutions however; there was laxity from parents and teachers on administering the same to the PWID. Conclusions therefore were; PWID transit to vocational programs with inadequate readiness skills which has negative effect on vocational skills acquisition and miss employment opportunity as the courses they enrol for have less market or the market is flooded. It was also concluded that before PWID join sheltered workshops, their actual need should be ascertained. Lastly, there is lack of support from significant persons in transition of PWID to the world of work which could results to a majority of them not gaining employment even if they have skills. This study therefore recommended that PWID learners be offered all pre-vocational skills adequately and vocational counselling be offered intensively to PWID by trained vocational counsellor. The study also recommended that PWID actual needs be properly assessed and ascertained before they join sheltered workshops and finally significant persons to play their role in ensuring successful transition of PWID to the world of work. Implementation of the recommendations of this study may have positive impact on stakeholders and may create more insight and understanding on vocational programs and job placement for PWID. It may promote learning, teaching and transitional process in special schools and vocational institutions for PWID.