• May 23, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:57 AM
  • Nairobi

Government to develop skills inventory to leverage on jobs abroad for youth

Government to develop skills inventory to leverage on jobs abroad for youth

Uasin Gishu,

Friday, April 5, 2024

KNA by Ekuwam Sylvester and Luka Kiptanui

The government through the State Department for Labour and Skills Development is keen to develop a national skills inventory that will help match available job opportunities abroad with those in the country in order to address unemployment.

Labour PS Shadrack Mwadime noted that this a presidential directive to match the job opportunities that are opening up abroad with local skills, noting that employers have been complaining that the kind of graduates we produce in our educational institutions do not match their expectations and that they want to see where the gaps to inform the change of the curriculum.

“We want to know the kind of skills our young people have currently and then do an analysis of the labour market both internationally and the market within. We can only do that analysis if we have taken an inventory of the skills obtained currently so that we get to know their gaps and that will inform a change of the curriculum,” he noted.

He was speaking during his tour of duty in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County where he familiarised with the employees in the State Department.

Noting that the un employment rate in country is very high, he affirmed that the Kenya Kwanza administration is deliberate in ensuring it is substantially reduced through creating a conducive environment within the economy where investors can invest their resources and gradually also increase the number of the employees that they bring on board as the economy grows.

The Labour PS mentioned that there were job opportunities that were opening up in the western European countries with an aging population currently which would offer great opportunities for our young people to work there.

“In the statistics, those below 35 years in accordance with the latest population census the population of the young is about 65 percent. Every year we produce about 1 million graduates right from primary secondary and also at tertiary level and only about 200,000 are able to get employed by our economy as they manage to get self-employed through seed capital from platforms like the youth enterprise fund, hustlers fund and others in order to cater for their daily needs,” he said.

“But now that we have an aging population in the western European nations, they are offering us opportunities for the young people to go and work there. This administration feels this is the way to go,” added the PS.

Mwadime debunked the claims of brain drain that the young skilled people would go to settle permanently in the outside countries, terming them fallacies as he reiterated that they don’t want our people to go and settle there but on short term contracts of 3-5 years and then come back home and invest that which they have been able to accrue during the period.

He revealed that statistics from the Central Bank late last year indicated that diaspora remittances now amount to about 4 billion US dollars equivalent to Sh663 billion per year, noting if we were be able to increase it to about a trillion, that would be a quarter of a national budget.

He said that is the way to go in terms of forex, praising that the diaspora remittances have even surpassed the traditional foreign exchange earners like tea, coffee and even tourism.

The PS hinted on the transfer of technology back to the country as the young people go abroad.

He cited model countries like South Korea which have been successful in the idea of transfer of technology after they sent their young people to migrate to Middle East countries about 30 years ago and now, they are dominating the electronic market as they gained skills to develop products like Samsung and others.

He said the idea the government is implementing is not new; it has happened in other countries and they have been able to transform their economy from third world to first world economies within a generation.

“We are deliberate about this; we want our young people to go abroad and earn their salaries in foreign money and remit it back. That is why we have a pre-departure training programme to tell them that they are going out there as our frontline soldiers and as they do so we advise them where to invest this money when they come back,” explained PS Mwadime.

The PS lauded the partnership between the Athletics Kenya (AK) and the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) about 10 to 15 years ago which helped to advice the young athletes earning lucrative deals on the wise ways to invest their money, saying the initiative has enabled the economy of the town of Eldoret to develop as it is today making it the city of champions.

He acknowledged Eldoret and Uasin Gishu as a model noting that what is happening there could also obtain in Kakamega, Kisumu, Nyahururu and in a small town in Kilifi as the country sends young people abroad so that they are eventually able to remit what they earn not only for the good of economy but also because of the unemployment problem that we are having currently since they would also be able to offer employment to their younger brothers back at home.

“If you have a young person erecting a mansion in a small town in Uasin Gishu, rest assured that the materials will come from there. That is employment to the locals in terms of labour and others. There are so many ways we can benefit from this if only we are strategic,” alluded the PS.

He further indicated that they wanted labour migration to be undertaken in a structured way which would help to prevent and bring to an end claim of human trafficking allegedly conducted by some of the Private Recruitment Agencies (PRAs) in the country.

He noted that they have an inter-ministerial committee that has been established that involves the security agencies to vet these PRAs before even their licences are renewed in order to ensure they are dealing with the right and genuine PRAs.

In addition, they have vetted the recruitment agencies from a 1000 3 years ago to about 500 currently so that the agencies that deal with the young people are above board in their dealings.

The PS lauded the role played by the PRAs as major economic agents and ultimately our economy adding that they have given a directive to all PRAs to upload their job orders in the National Employment Authority (NEA) portal.

He encouraged Kenyans looking for jobs abroad to access the National Employment Authority Integrated Management System (NEAIMS) and to create an account to be able to access all the jobs that have been uploaded in the system.

“As there are currently over 200,000 jobs available in the system, it is upon Kenyans to access these jobs, apply for them and be able to migrate abroad to work,” confirmed the PS.

Mwadime assured Kenyans that the government is keen to fast track the labour migration by establishing a one-stop shop within the ministry headquarters embracing the huduma centre concept where all authorities concerned like officers from Immigration, Diaspora, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Health departments are present to ensure a migrant worker is assisted to process all the required documents on time.

“We have the officer from Immigration to fast-track issuance of passports for those migrating to occupy these positions that are opening up in western European countries, an officer from health to assist with medical certificate, DCI to give police clearance certificate, an officer from the Diaspora State Department, all in one office so that to assist that migrant worker to process all the documents required within the shortest time possible,” explained Mwadime.

Courtesy; KNA

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *