A Situational Analysis of Training and Skills Development Approaches in the Kenyan Clothing Textile and Apparel Industry

  • Joan Ogake Mosomi Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi
  • Betty Karimi Mwiti Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi
  • Lilac Adhiambo Osanjo Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi
Keywords: CTA courses, Fashion design, Textile engineering, Apparel design, clothing and textile science, CTA skills, CTA trends, skills development, Kenya


Evidence from East Africa’s recent growth shows the Clothing, Textile, and Apparel (CTA) industry is among the leading industries in current and potential job creation. The industry includes textile mills, textile product mills, and apparel manufacturing. The CTA industry shows potential to grow into a leading export industry for Africa and a leading employer, considering geo-climatic factors, making Africa one of the richest raw material regions for the industry globally. Kenya is one of the African countries with a promising CTA industry.  It is noted from literature that developing the Kenyan CTA industry requires proper financial investment, human capital development, and technological infusion. This research paper focuses on human capital development, more particularly underpinning the training approaches used to develop the human capital in the CTA industry in Kenya and their situatedness. An integrative literature review methodology is employed in this study. Under this methodology, the situation in which the Kenyan CTA industry’s training and skills development is developed is analysed. The objective is to investigate the training gap and skills development in degree programs for the CTA industry in Kenya. A situated learning approach is then used to understand the training programs for the CTA industry, especially in degree programs, their similarity and difference to best practices and industry standards across the world, and their relevance to the industry and field. The Constructivist Learning Theory and Situated Learning Theory are used to interrogate available data on learning approaches and methodologies in the CTA industry compared to industry standards and needs. This study concludes that the CTA industry in Kenya does not have an effective environment to match skills and trends required in the market to the current degree programs. The environment for collaboration and interaction between the CTA industry and institutions offering CTA courses should be enhanced to ensure knowledge, skills, and trends can be shared across the spectrum. Learning institutions should work with industry players to develop apprenticeship, work-based learning, and general industry experiences for CTA students. A transdisciplinary approach to CTA degree courses is recommended as a critical pathway to incorporate all players into the CTA degree courses.


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