Graduates holding Masters Degrees or higher academic qualifications will not be considered for the paid Public Service Internship Programme (PSIP), the Public Service Commission (PSC) has affirmed.
PSC Commissioner Dr. Reuben Chirchir said all the 3, 600 youths to be absorbed countrywide would be holders of Bachelor’s Degrees and must have graduated between the years of 2015 to 2019.
Speaking during the launch of the internship recruitment exercise in Nakuru at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology, the commissioner further clarified that the one year program did not constitute an offer for employment in the public service.
He however assured Kenyans that the Public Service Commission would continue advertising for employment opportunities for graduates whenever they arose.
“Those already employed elsewhere or having internships need not apply. The programme is strictly targeting youth who have Bachelors. We received more than 18, 000 applications but we only require 3, 600” said Dr Chirchir.
The Public Service Internship Programme (PSIP) is a Government initiative designed to offer the opportunity for college graduates to acquire and develop valuable and professional skills while gaining work experience. The programme is also aimed at inculcating in the interns values and principles of public service and to promote ethical conduct.
The placements will last between 12 to 18 months and those shortlisted will be attached to government ministries, departments and agencies. They will receive monthly stipends of between Sh20, 000 and Sh30, 000.
According to PSC, the National Assembly has supported the Public Service Internship Programme (PSIP) with an allocation of Sh1 billion for the programme.
Dr. Chirchir challenged County governments and the private sector to emulate the model and create more opportunities for the youth.
“The government’s commitment is to ensure that there are 100, 000 internship opportunities every year. We will be closely working with the private sector to achieve this goal. PSC is also encouraging devolved units to put in place similar programmes. We will support them in logistics and planning,” stated the Commissioner.
Kenyan universities produce over 50, 000 graduates annually with a similar number graduating from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
He said priority was being given to persons living with disabilities and the marginalized in giving out internship opportunities.
The Commissioner asserted that only Kenyan citizens were eligible for the programme which he said had taken into consideration gender parity.
“While under internship, they will work under tutelage of skilled workers and career civil servants. We want to equip them with skills and work experience that majority of employers ask for from prospective workers,” noted Dr Chirchir.
PSIP was among initiatives unveiled in the governing Jubilee Party 2017 presidential campaign manifesto as part of the Uhuru Kenyatta-led administration commitment to youth empowerment.
The National Employment Authority (NEA) submitted a raft of regulations to guide placements in government ministries, departments and agencies in June 2019 paving the way for the rollout of PSIP.
A graduate Rachael, Wambui Mbugua, said she was elated about the programme which would ensure youths graduating from education institutions got necessary the skills to be absorbed into the job market.
“The issue of young people being told that they need three years’ experience before being hired will be a thing of the past,” she said.
John Mwendwa who graduated from Moi University said that he was optimistic that he would be shortlisted for the internship.
“Jobs are hard to come by. These internships should incorporate transfer of skills that will enable us to be job creators and not job seekers,” he stated.
By Anne Mwale