Monument of the late Thomas Joseph Mboya, located near the entrance of Tom Mboya College's Administration block. It was made as tribute to the fallen hero, the incorruptable defender of workers & Trade unionists

Labour education and training in Kenya predates the establishment of the Tom Mboya Labour College (TMLC). The earliest efforts towards having a formal institution for training trade union leaders and workers on labour issues was the establishment of the Department of Workers’ Education at the Central Organization of Trade Unions-Kenya (COTU-K) in 1974. The Department became largely responsible for putting in place the structures for the commencement of the renowned COTU (K)’s Study Circle Programme in 1978. This saw the beginning of structured educational programmes which were offered on regular and frequent basis to trade union leaders and shopfloor workers.

The success of this early programme promoted the need to establish a more comprehensive and intensive programmes of study for trade union leaders and workers. The ultimate aim was to equip trade unionists, and the rank and file with the skills, knowledge and competencies required in an increasingly complex and dynamic working environment. It was this desire coupled with inadequacies of existing educational programmes that led COTU (K) to establish the TMLC in 1983. The TMLC was established as a residential college devoted exclusively to the educational needs of trade union leaders and members at large.

The main objective of establishing the College was to have a centre to provide the highest quality education and training for trade unionists and their members. It was recognized then that high quality trade union and

workers’ education would not only create the foundation for improved well being of workers but

would also serve to promote the goal of effective representation of workers and efficient collective bargaining. This would then improve the country’s industrial relations system.

The TMLC was formally opened in 1983 and was named in memory of the late veteran trade unionist Thomas Joseph Mboya. It was seen as a lasting testimony to the brilliant and high profile trade unionist.

Thomas Joseph Mboya.

Then Ministry of Labour gazetted an Order, which allowed COTU (K) to levy a fee on trade union members to go towards construction of the College. Government offered land. The College was, therefore, constructed and financed by members of trade unions affiliated to COTU (K). The College is located in the Lakeside Kisumu City overlooking Lake Victoria.

The College offers trade union education and training programmes through conferences, workshops, symposia and seminars. It also offers short specialized courses and training programmes tailor-made to fit the needs of individual trade unions and their members. The College is a focus centre for trade union education in Eastern Africa and has extended its outreach to the African continent and beyond. The TMLC also played host to circuit Industrial Court system between 2007 and 2010. In addition, it provides a venue for training and congregation for non-trade union clients, including government institutions and civil society organizations.

The governance of the College is bestowed on the Board of Governors drawn from top trade union leadership appointed by the COTU (K) Executive Board. The day-to-day running of the College is carried out by the Principal, the College Administrator and the Registrar.





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Designed by Talent Moses: TMLC publication designs in charge, in collaboration with Mr. Timothy Okumu: Head of .IT department - TMLC.