Labour and Social Protection CS Simon Chelugui says homecare and childcare trainers will be working for various training agencies who are recruiting around 30,000 Kenyans to work abroad.
Speaking at the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) Graduation Ceremony in Athi-river, Machakos County, Chelugui said that the Government is scouting for opportunities abroad including Europe and in the Middle East.
“It is important to be skilled and have pre-departure training to help them work abroad. A number of bilateral agreements which speak to the welfare and interest of workers is also being addressed and we have signed with a number of countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Other Bilateral agreements are in the works including Canada, Britain and Australia which are potential destination markets for Kenyan workers,” he said.
The CS said that the government is cognizant of the challenge the country has of producing 1.2 million graduates in schools and colleges, yet the Kenyan economy can only absorb 800,000 workers.
Around 400,000 Kenyans, he noted, are left without job opportunities and so it becomes a major challenge for the youths, though their intention is for all Kenyans to get jobs.
The CS said that it is the government’s responsibility to create employment opportunities for Kenyans abroad and ensure they are well treated and respected.
“I have received messages and calls from Kenyans in distress in foreign countries, and so it is our duty and responsibility as a Government, to ensure Kenyans are working and living in a dignified manner. It is my duty to enable, facilitate and create opportunities, either locally and abroad for those 400,000 Kenyans,” added the CS.
However, he urged students and trainers to sharpen their tools and prepare for competition with other countries
“We have National Employment Authority (NEA) and NITA, so as we prepare for those jobs remember we are not alone in this world. We are competing with many countries, therefore, we must sharpen, retool and re-skill our people. I want to stand anywhere in the world and give assurance to anybody abroad, that any Kenyan landing in their country has passed all the tests and I can confidently vouch for them,” noted Chelugui.
The Chairman Board of Directors, NITA, Dr. Kamau Gachigi told the graduates to remember their culture and represent their country well and that they should carry themselves with high self-esteem since Kenyans are preferred by other countries.
“One important thing is our culture, you need to understand who you are as Kenyans because when you are in a different environment you are an ambassador of your country and nobody is better than you. Our skin colour is not well received around the world but we are preparing people who have a high self-esteem and carry themselves with pride,” said Dr. Kamau
He said the home care workers’ curriculum was created because it provides a significant part of the Kenyan labour force. They perform various services for individuals, families and institutions. The services they provide are caring for children, the elderly, cleaning, cooking and gardening among others.
The Board Chairman further noted that the curriculum focuses on Home care, life skills, child care, Homecare Nursing and pre- departure training which are all accredited by NITA.
These courses equip care givers with skills that will be useful as they seek employment abroad and locally. He said the curriculum comprises international training standards making it competitive.
Machakos County Commissioner John Ondego said that since he is still new in the area, he was not aware of the various Curriculums at NITA and will strive to inform local residents through government Administrators during public Barazas to take note of the trainings at NITA.
Others present during the event included Ministry of Labour CAS Jackson Kalla, PS representative Dr. Nyanduti Musa, National Employment Authority Chair, Prof. Grace Cheserek among other officials.
By Ann Kangero