SGR skills transfer on course as 80pc of operations run by locals

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 00:00 |
SGR train at Mombasa terminus. Photo/Courtesy

TRANSPORT:  Skills transfer and subsequent handover of Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) operations to Kenyans has already hit the 80 per cent mark.

The latest Kenya SGR corporate social responsibility report indicates that Africa Star Railway Operation Company (Afristar), the firm contracted to run and maintain the SGR project, has 2,863 staff of whom 80 per cent or 2,206 are Kenyans.

Afristar was contracted to run and maintain the 592km SGR for 10 years after which management will revert to Kenyans.

Now marking its third year since the deal was signed on May 31, 2017, the company is celebrating a successful skills transfer programme.

According to the report, the operator is providing different levels of positions for local employees from grassroots to the management level.

“Management and operation personnel are assigned according to specific quota, forming a hierarchical management system with section chiefs as the centre, so as to train local staff into versatile talents with high technical skills and strong management abilities,” reads the report.

Currently, the command centre of SGR Phase 1 has four local employees involved in dispatch and command.

Eleven senior assistant drivers have passed the examination and obtained driver’s licence, so that they can drive trains independently. 

Transport management

Among 33 stations, 25 are fully run and managed by local employees. The employee localisation rate in train service and passenger transport management at stations has reached more than 90 per cent.

The management goal to realise 100 per cent localisation, skills transfer is a deliberate gradual plan.

Following the successful operations of the Madaraka Express passenger and freight service, there has been greater emphasis on developing more manpower to serve the sub sector in a bid to enhance operations in the long term.

The programme, which entails replicating the contractor’s vocational training, is designed for prospective technicians who are expected to help Kenya ensure seamless operations and management of the railway line in future. 

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