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KEPSA engages stakeholders with the aim of revolutionizing talent management in the Digital Age

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has held a round table for Human Resources (HR) recruiters, job boards and private sector organisations with the aim of revolutionising talent management in the digital age.

Speaking at the event, State Department of Labour and Skills Development Principal Secretary Geoffrey Kaituko stated that unemployment is a key challenge in the country despite having a large pool of skilled and educated workers where close to 1 million graduates join the job market every year.

“According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the number of Kenyans without jobs increased to 2.97 million in the year 2022 underscoring the labour market woes in the wake of post- Covid recovery, elevated inflation and reduced activity in the dominant agricultural sector,” disclosed Kaituko.

The PS added that the Government, in partnership with like-minded organisations, continues to invest in favourable policies, programmes, initiatives and other supporting activities to address the unemployment challenge in the country.

“The Ajira Digital Program is an example of such initiatives by the Government to address the youth unemployment issues through digital and digitally-enabled work opportunities offered through both local and international employers,” Kaituko said.

“Digitalization of the labour market offers rich opportunities such as productivity growth, new market opportunities, new jobs, greater work-life balance, and higher pay. However, it also brings important challenges that cannot be ignored, these challenges include access to social security, freedom of association or unionism, access to control or inspection of work, occupational safety and health issues and data protection issues,” he added.

He highlighted that there is a need to further explore and understand the development of digital employment in developing countries as well as explore more specific issues such as how emerging technologies like Web3 (the third generation of the World Wide Web), the metaverse, and blockchain among others will affect the future of work and labour laws.

Kaituko announced that the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is in process of implementing key activities and programmes to support digital jobs where the five labour laws which were enacted in 2007 are being reformed to bring them in tandem with the current labour market environment, including addressing concerns and gaps in digital jobs.

Further, the PS revealed that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism for labour disputes is being reformed to deal with emerging conflicts between actors, in this case workers and employers, in order to ensure peace and harmony in the digital economy and insulate service delivery from unwarranted disruptions.

Kaituko noted that the State Department for Labour and Skills Development is also actively promoting access to digital jobs in the international market for Kenyan workers. He said that all these interventions are aimed at expanding digital jobs and ensuring that digital workers thrive in their work environment.

At the same time, Dr Ehud Gachugu, Director, Youth Employment and Ajira Digital Program at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) explained why the sub-sector plays an important and pivotal role in connecting supply and demand sides with intermediation services, data, and insights that can greatly transform labour market in response to the changing environment resulting from a need for a globally skilled workforce and digital transformation.

“The conversation is very timely as new and emergent labour-related disputes have started to surface particularly in organizations working in Digital and ICT-related sectors and these developments could negatively impact gains made in making Kenya a leading labour choice destination for companies globally,” noted Gachugu.

He added that the stakeholders in the ecosystem including the HR practitioners who are very fundamental in the organization’s decision making need to be included in policy and practice discussions in relation to these emerging issues and opportunities for scaling job creation efforts in the country.

Ajira Digital Program is an initiative of the Government of Kenya under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Digital Economy with strategic partnership of Mastercard Foundation and is being implemented by eMobilis Technology Training Institute (eMobilis) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

By Rebeccah Maria

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