A productive discussion took place earlier today between the Labour and Skills Development Principal Secretary, Shadrack Mwadime, and representatives from recruiting agencies who paid him a courtesy call.

The focus of the discussion was labour migration and the government’s efforts to provide job opportunities for the non-working population in Kenya outside of the country.

During the discussion, PS Mwadime highlighted the significant number of unemployed youth in Kenya, which stands at approximately 5 million, with the majority being at an average age of 19 years, making it a very young population.

In comparison, the average age of the European population is 45 years.

The objective of these jobs is to allow Kenyans to work abroad between 3 to 5 years, contribute to the economy through remittances, gain employment skills, and bring back technological advancements from those countries.

PS Mwadime cited China as an example, explaining how the country closed its economy at one point and then emerged with advanced technology skills, ultimately improving its economic standing. As part of the government’s efforts, 2500 nursing jobs in Saudi Arabia have recently been advertised and are currently open for applications.

The PS emphasized the importance of utilizing the National Employment Agency as a central repository of information. He suggested that recruiting agencies should upload the jobs they secure to facilitate easy tracking of the number of Kenyans working abroad and their respective locations, ensuring efficient monitoring in case of distress calls.

President Ruto’s government is committed to supporting distressed Kenyans working abroad and addressing any violations of their rights.

PS Mwadime welcomed the recruiting agencies to engage in open-door discussions, expressing his willingness to listen and collaborate. The agents raised concerns about revocation of some licenses for agencies, lengthy clearance processes, and bureaucratic challenges.

In response, the government plans to establish a one-stop shop where Kenyans can obtain all necessary clearances under one roof, and vet all agencies before being allowed to operate which has been ongoing .The one stop shop initiative is scheduled to be launched  later in January.

“Labour migration is a priority policy for the Kenya Kwanza government”, said PS Mwadime.