By Primrose Omoto
Youths have been urged to take advantage of the increase in opportunities in various industries abroad such as medicine, hospitality, manufacturing, Information technology and agriculture due to the high demand for both skilled and unskilled labor.
Labour and Social Protection CS Florence Bore said labour migration has a huge economic potential for both the government and the workers, if it is done properly.
“We want to streamline labour migration. We have set up a labour desk at the JKIA to ensure that those who are going to work outside the country are well-secured and will work in a smooth, fair and conducive environment,” she said.
Bore encouraged the youth to check the website of the National Employment Authority (NEA), where the ministries post most of the job opportunities they get from abroad.
The websites, she added, had job orders that the youth could access and match with the opportunities in other countries.
“No youth should pay any money to get these job opportunities. This is one way of eliminating corruption in employment,” she noted.
The CS added that the government was against corruption and had deployed people in the Interior and Defence ministries to monitor any corruption cases during recruitment exercises.
She said jobs should be given out publicly and the youth should not pay any money for them. She urged the public to report any cases of corruption that they encounter.
“It is very wrong to pay money to get a job. Do not agree to do that. Report it when it happens,” she said.
The labor CS reiterated that the government had signed four bilateral labour agreements with four countries, and was in talks with 19 other countries to finalize similar agreements.
She said the bilateral labour agreements were meant to protect the rights of the workers and ensure that they were paid well and treated well.
“These agreements ensure that Kenyans are not overworked and work within the normal hours,” she said.
She said the Kenya Kwanza government had also intervened to increase the salaries of some migrant workers in the diaspora who used to earn low wages.
The government, she said, is following up on the well-being of Kenyans in other countries and fighting for their rights, especially in terms of their work conditions and contracts.
“For example, we recently negotiated the salaries for the nurses we were sending to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This shows the importance of bilateral talks between governments,” she said.
She urged both skilled and unskilled migrant workers to abide by their contract terms and report any violations.
“Do not hesitate to report any issue that goes against the contract. We want you to work comfortably,” she said.