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State assures Kenyans working abroad of safety

The government has urged Kenyans to apply for various job opportunities the State sourced abroad as part of measures to tackle unemployment.

Through the Ministry of Labour and Skills Development, Kenyans have been assured of their safety as they go to work abroad.

Principal Secretary State Department for Labour and Skills Development Shadrack Mwadime said the labour migration desk at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will assist in enhancing the safety of Kenyans going to work in the diaspora.

Speaking in an interview with the press, Mwadime said this will help to curb irregular migration to create a safe, fair, regular, and productive working environment in the diaspora.

He said its operationalization is part of a government initiative aimed at curbing illegal migration.

PS Mwadime said that labour migration continues to greatly contribute to the growth and development of the country’s economy since it is a source of employment and livelihood for many Kenyans.

“When these Kenyans work in the foreign countries they come to invest back home where their families are and that is how the government earns revenue that is channeled into development programmes,” he said.

He noted that the number of Kenyans working abroad has significantly increased, which is estimated to be four million for skilled and non-skilled workers.

He said the Kenya Kwanza administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with key labour destination countries which include Germany, Austria, Bahrain, Oman, Poland, Jordan, Kuwait, Canada, and Ireland among others.

“In ensuring the promotion of employment opportunities for migrant workers, we had a job order of 200 nurses last year which was secured in March 2023 to go and work in the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and this was a government to government initiative,” he added.

The PS noted that the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection has also secured 2500 posts for healthcare professionals to be recruited to work in Saudi Arabia.

He urged qualified health workers to apply for the jobs through the National Employment Agency (NEA) where the qualified nurses will be picked for the jobs.

“We want to assure you that the government is concerned about your safety and welfare from your employer thus nothing should stop you from applying for these jobs,” he said.

The PS insisted that the government will keep an eye on its citizens working abroad and provide immediate interventions when an issue arises.

Mwadime said the Ministry has already established help desks and helpline numbers for any inquiries in case of anything.

He added that they will also recruit staff to monitor the activities, welfare and working relations of Kenyans working abroad.

“We have our desks and numbers in these countries thus we will be following up on their welfare with their employers so that we make sure they are all working in a safe environment,” he said.

He added a Bill on labour migration will be introduced in Parliament to support the migrant workers’ program and ensures their safety in foreign countries.

The PS said through the migrant labour bill they will also introduce a savings program where migrant workers can make their retirement benefits.

“We want to introduce a program where migrant workers can save for retirement which will help them in future when they have retired and have come back home,” he said.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Mwanaisha Chidzuga said that the President has made good relations with foreign countries to secure employment opportunities for Kenyans.

Chidzuga said the government does not only secure opportunities for its people to work abroad but also ensures their safety is guaranteed.

“We know there has been fear by Kenyans when it comes to working abroad but we assure them not to worry. Opportunities are there and we advise them to apply for these posts since Kenyans are well known for hard work and commitment when given tasks,” she said.

She noted that the President is working hard with the relevant Ministry to ensure youth who are skilled and cannot secure employment in the country can go and work abroad and improve their quality of life.

Chidzuga advised Kenyans not to be selective and instead apply for opportunities in a bid to eradicate poverty.

By Chari Suche

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