CENTRAL BANK OF KENYA. Last Update 02/10/2020
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Skilled Workforce and Labour

Mombasa boasts an impressive functional literacy rate of 96% in its youthful population and an overall literacy rate of 86.3%


Labour Market

Mombasa is a cosmopolitan and ever-expanding city with a population of 1.3 million, making it the second largest city in Kenya. Mombasa boasts a functional literacy rate of 96% in its youthful population , nearly half of whom have traveled to Mombasa to find work or study. It has an overall literacy rate of 86.3%.  Mombasa is home to multiple universities and vocational training centres. While well-established industries have created pools of skilled labour.

Mombasa attracts scores of ambitious, talented young people from across Kenya and beyond, with nearly half the population of the county coming from outside.  

Mombasa has a robust education system with the third highest secondary school graduation rate out of the 47 counties in Kenya. The county’s state secondary system comprises of 28 schools, complimented by 60 private secondary schools, ranging from affordable to prestigious, such as the Aga Khan Academy and Braeburn,  with a good proportion of them following international curricula.  These have local as well as foreign ownership.

The university scene in Mombasa is thriving, as the well- regarded Technical University of Mombasa has recently been joined by campuses of long-established institutions such as the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi University, Kenya Methodist University and Mt Kenya University, which all offer a range of courses including postgraduate and part-time options.

Mombasa is also a hub for specialised technical training schools such as Mombasa Technical Training Institute (MTTI), Mombasa Industrial Training Center (MITC), Christian Industrial Training Center (CITC), and Bandari College – Kenya Ports Authority’s Maritime College and one of four National Industrial Training Authority centres. A wide range of vocational skills are covered, with emphasis on attachments and on-the-job training. The County also hosts Kenya School of Government

Trade Unions

The Labour Relations Act of 2007 regulates employer/employee relations in Kenya and the establishment and registration of trade unions and employers’ organizations.  Article 4 gives an employee the right to join and exit any legal trade union, while Article 6 gives the employer the right to participate in forming an employers’ organization or a federation of employers’ organizations.  

The trade union movement is strong with an estimated 40 per cent of the labour force in the modern sector members of it.  The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) is the national umbrella-body governing about 30 unions.  Kenya also has industrial courts that sit daily to hear and settle industrial disputes.  The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) is the premier employers’ organization, established in 1959 under the Trade Unions Act Cap 233 to represent the collective interest of employers in Kenya.