The Public Service Internship Program is a key pillar in the government’s wider strategy to mitigate youth unemployment by addressing the work experience demanded by prospective employers.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson, Ms. Lyn Mengich speaking during the commissioning of the second cohort of 3, 400 graduate interns under the public service internship programme at Moi Sports Complex Kasarani on Monday, said that lack of work experience is a perennial problem for job seekers and indeed one of the biggest challenges that fresh graduates encounter when they are seeking employment.
“I am also pleased to note that this is the second cohort that the government has enlisted in a record time since the first cohort of 3,100 interns was deployed hardly a month ago and that returns from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) indicate a successful take-off of the program,” said Mengich.
While congratulating the successful interns, the chairperson said, “I am aware that you went through a competitive interview process and I therefore urge you to take full advantage of the opportunity that the government has accorded to you to learn and upgrade your classroom knowledge to the practical world of work. It is my belief that you have made a conscious decision to join the public service and in so doing, you will constructively contribute to the national development agenda under the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030.”
She continued, “You will recall that President Uhuru Kenyatta is the United Nations champion on youth empowerment. In this regard, the government has ensured that programs that have potential to build the capacity for youth to take charge of their lives and maximize their full potential are given priority. Some of the initiatives, include the Ajira digital online jobs project, the Presidential Digital Talent Program, National Youth Service (NYS), Affirmative Fund loans and now this internship program.”
Mengich added that the government has supported and partnered with private sector through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), faith-based organizations and development partners in empowering the youth to create jobs and earn a livelihood.
She further said that the Big Four agenda on Manufacturing, Food Security and Nutrition, Affordable Housing and Universal Healthcare aims at creating jobs and improving well-being of all Kenyans as envisaged in Vision 2030.
“I therefore take this opportunity to commend the government for these measures as they attest to an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of the youth. I encourage the youth to explore these opportunities for their own advancement,” she said.
She added that the Kenya youth are creative, entrepreneurial, hardworking, intelligent, resilient and talented.
“According to the recent population census, 75 percent of Kenya’s population is below 35 years old. Out of this figure 30 percent are unemployed and every year, over five million youth are searching for jobs. We are therefore called upon to invest in the demographic dividends of the youthful population for the country’s future and prosperity,” she highlighted.
Mengich explained that in the Medium Term Plan III, the government seeks to implement the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Programme, which supports job creation and improving youth employability.
“The focus is to address the constraints and market failures that limit youth employment and hamper youth productivity once in employment and respond to skills mismatch among youth graduating from learning and training institutions,” she said.
She continued, “I am pleased to note that Public Service Commission is equally committed to the youth agenda. This was indeed a further confirmation of the government’s commitment to empower our youth to enable them contribute significantly to socio-economic development in our country and beyond.”
Mengich said that there is no doubt that the skills that will be imparted by this internship programme will bring the young men and women face to face with public service delivery expectations and prepare them for the pressures of a world that is evolving at a terrific speed.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a