10,000 painters needed for artisan training programme

The course will encompass modular training on painting and decoration, entrepreneurship, health and safety as well as first aid

Japanese firm Kansai Plascon has launched a 10,000-painter training programme targeting the youth across Kenya.

The firm’s Managing Director Jamil Virjee said the move was aimed at improving the quality of paintwork done on local buildings as well as enable painters root out poor quality paints.

“Apart from giving back to the industry, we are also contributing to the development of skills and knowledge. Paint retailers will be trained to help them serve their customers professionally when selling paint,” he said in a statement.

Mr Virjee added that the course will encompass modular training on painting and decoration, entrepreneurship, health and safety as well as first aid, thereby enabling individual painters handle tasks professionally.

Plascon also plans to introduce certification for painters thereby helping professionalise the sector that for years has relied on unskilled labour.

The acute shortage has resulted in a serious labour imbalance in the booming industry which risk putting the multi-billion sector into a quagmire.

“At the moment we have few plumbers, masons, electricians and painters. Somebody might say that one does not need to be trained on painting but that is not the truth. Skills such as paint mixing have to be taught and at the moment there are very few painters around who can give you an impeccable job,” Kenya Projects founder and chief executive officer David Kanyi was quoted by a local media lamenting.

Plascon recently bought a 90 per cent stake in Kenya’s Sadolin Paints at a cost of Sh10 billion, giving it control over the group that has subsidiaries in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

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