NYS to replace police in State offices
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has announced National Youth Service (NYS) officers will replace the police in manning government offices.
Gachagua was speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), where he launched a three-day job fair hosted by Nation Media Group and Huawei East Africa.
He said the change of guard would constitute an official government policy and would be observed by all agencies.
“Going forward, we want to have a discussion with ministries and state corporations to have a concrete plan on how to remove police officers from the security services to go and deal with crime, and we can have NYS personnel man those offices at a fee. It should not be free. So that we can create a revolving fund to train more people,” he said.
Gachagua attributed the high rate of youth unemployment to a lack of requisite skills among job seekers and assured the youth the Department of Labour and Skills Development would address the skills gap.
He also said the government would invest in digital technology and equip 10,000 young job seekers with ICT skills annually as part of its job creation agenda.
“While there may be limited opportunities, research has shown more than half of the graduates from our institutions of higher learning miss the requisite skills for the job market. That is why President William Ruto established a State Department for Labour and Skills Development to work with other ministries, departments and agencies as well as the private sector to address the concern,” he said.
Gachagua commended the job fair for creating a link between job seekers and job creators and for connecting youths with incubators of innovative ideas.
Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said his ministry negotiated a partnership with Huawei that will see 500 NYS graduates secure job placement in 2023. He commended NYS for its programmes, which he said had produced disciplined and technically competent graduates since 1964.
“I have no doubt this cohort of 500 youths will be a good example of just what NYS can deliver. I have no doubt, Huawei, that with the 500, you will be running back to NYS for more. I believe other employers will also find this skilled, disciplined, focus workforce of NYS as a good microcosm of what the youth can do,” he said.
The CS assured the youth that they were a top priority for the Kenya Kwanza administration and that the government had an urgent plan for job creation. He said that the media had a responsibility to create awareness about available job opportunities in the public and private sector to help unemployed Kenyans secure jobs.
“The partnership between Nation Media Group and Huawei aims to drive policy discussions on gainful employment across all sectors to encourage companies and institutions to offer jobs and internships to alleviate unemployment and to mentor, inspire, and empower youth talents by providing a learning platform and access to available opportunities,” he said.
Labour and Skills Development Principal Secretary Geoffrey Kaituko highlighted programmes that the ministry had put in place to address perennial unemployment.
He announced a plan to implement a multisectoral multi-stakeholder strategy that would accelerate employment creation and absorb the overwhelming number of unemployed job seekers.
“Already, the State Department for Labour and Skills Department has embarked on skilling, upskilling, and reskilling in the building and construction industry in support of the affordable housing programme. The programme will not only seek to provide much-needed shelter to families, but is also expected to generate jobs through NITA,” he said.
He also stated that the Ministry was developing a strategy to secure jobs for professional and skilled workers abroad and secure their welfare as migrant workers.
The policy is a response to concerns about the safety and welfare of Kenyan migrant workers in the Middle East, many of whom have died in mysterious circumstances, leaving their families destitute and without redress.
Huawei East Africa Deputy CEO Steven Zhang said that Kenya’s economy had bounced back effectively from the Covid 19 pandemic and expressed gratitude for the partnership with Nation Media Group, which had connected employers with prospective job seekers.
“Huawei runs many programmes with the aim of improving the capabilities of Kenya’s ICT talent and building a stronger ICT ecosystem. We will support local businesses through different partnerships we have with them and continue to work with them in different areas of business operations, leading to joint success,” he said.
Citing the 2022 ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth report, Federation of Kenya Employers CEO Jacqueline Mugo stated that workers in the 18 -24 age group had experienced the highest rate of job loss in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mugo encouraged employers and the Government to collaborate to enable enterprises to recover from the pandemic and reduce the 5.74% unemployment rate in Kenya, which stands at more than twice the regional average of 2.7 percent.
“80% of Kenyans are underemployed in low-income low-quality informal sector jobs, what we call ‘decent jobs’ in the labour sector. They do not have decent jobs,” she said. Also present at the event were Sports PS Jonathan Mueke, Youth Affairs PS Ismail Madey, and NYS Director General Matilda Sakwa, among others.