MOTIVATIONAL MEASURES AND INNOVATIVE SERVISES FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN KENYA

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1 MOTIVATIONAL MEASURES AND INNOVATIVE SERVISES FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN KENYA PAPER PRESENTED AT WAPES YOUTH EMPLOYMENT WORKSHOP, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO 29 TH TO 30 TH OCTOBER 2013 BY WILLIAM ONGERI ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT MINISTRY OF LABOUR, SOCIAL SECURITY AND SERVICES NAIROBI, KENYA. 1

2 OVERVIEW My presentation will cover the following areas: 1. Background information 2. Government measures to promote employment for the youth 3. Access to Government opportunities programme 4. Training and internship programme 5. Capacity building programme through Uwezo Fund 6. Other employment creation initiatives 7. Challenges 2

3 1. BACK GROUND INFORMATION One of the major challenges that Kenya has faced since independence is creation of adequate productive and sustainable employment opportunities. Unemployment in Kenya (currently estimated at 40 per cent) mostly affect the youth as they account for 36 per cent of the total population and about 70 per cent of those who are unemployed are young persons. The youth population in Kenya has grown from 14 million 1n 2009 and is currently estimated at 17 million. This has rendered the country's labour force to be predominantly youthful with majority being in the age bracket years. A higher proportion of the labour force is found in the rural areas where currently employment opportunities are minimal, leading to rural-urban migration. The youth employment challenge in Kenya include unemployment, underemployment and poor working conditions. The lack of access to income is one of the main determinants of household poverty and inequality. Employment still remains as a key access point for accumulation of income and wealth. The Kenya government, therefore, puts employment creation as a major policy agenda for all development strategies that will lead to the creation of productive, decent and sustainable employment opportunities. To achieve this goal, the Government has developed the National Employment Policy.The Policy is awaiting Parliament s approval through a sessional paper that will guide its implementation. Through this Policy all major investments and projects in the country shall be subjected to employment creation analysis to determine their employment creation potential before they are implemented. The President has urged Parliament to move with speed to expedite the National Employment Policy into a Sessional Paper while directing all State departments to conduct an analysis to determine the number of jobs they can create for youths. 3

4 2. GOVERNMENT DELIBERATE MEASURES TO PROMOTE EMPLOYMENT FOR THE YOUTH The following are key measures the Government has taken to address specific employment needs of young people. The measures are deliberate attempts by the State to build capacities in the youth thereby enhancing their knowledge and skills for increased employability and job creation. 4

5 2.1 ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAMME Access to Government Opportunities Programme (AGPO) is the latest government initiative as an affirmative action to empower vulnerable persons who include the youth, women and persons with disabilities. It should be noted that the unemployment challenge is most acute among these vulnerable groups in the country. As part of the broader affirmative action policy to create opportunities to these categories of the population, the Government,as the single largest consumer of goods and services, has now dedicated a minimum of 30 per cent of all its procurements to the youth, women and persons with disabilities through the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations of Participation of the target groups in public procurement is designed to create employment, wealth and enhance economic growth of the country s Vision The target groups are also encouraged to compete with other stakeholders for the rest of the remaining 70 per cent procurement opportunities. 5

6 Qualification criteria: The Government will register and pre-qualify enterprises owned by youth, women and persons with disabilities to enable them get access government tenders and contracts after meeting the following criteria: (a) The enterprises are registered with the relevant government body (the National Treasury, Registrar of Companies, Kenya Revenue Authority, State Law Office); (b)an enterprise has at least 70 per cent membership of youth, women or persons with disabilities, respectively; (c)leadership of the enterprise is 100 per cent youth, women and persons with disabilities, respectively. To register with the National Treasury, eligible persons or enterprise owners will require the following documents: National Identity card(s) /Passport(s) Business Registration Certificate/ Certificate of Incorporation Personal Identification Number (PIN) Tax Compliance Certificate Partnership Deed for Partnership Business Memorandum/Articles of Association for Registered Companies For Construction Category_ Letter/Certificate from the National Construction Authority, Energy Regulatory Commission or any other Authorized Public Body. The Ministry of The National Treasury, through the Procurement Oversight Authority, will publish all registered enterprises in its website for easy access by different Government Entities. 6

7 Monitoring and Evaluation: Implementation of this policy is a key target in the performance contract signed by each Cabinet Secretary and His Excellency the President. In addition, the Ministry of Devolution and Planning will closely monitor how the various government ministries are performing with regard to giving 30 per cent of tenders and contracts to youth, women and persons with disabilities. 7

8 Sectors Where Youth Can Benefit Most: Although the government procurement policy has provided an open window for the youth to supply all types of goods and services to government agencies, sectors likely to benefit most are information communication technology (ICT) and the micro and small enterprises. This is because a number of young people from universities and middle-level colleges have acquired knowledge in ICT and entrepreneurship while others are already running some small businesses. 8

9 2.2 TRAINING AND INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME The Youth Training and Internship Programme is part of the broader four-year Kenya Youth Empowerment Project sponsored jointly by the Government and World Bank. The Training and Internship Programme which operates on pilot basis was started in It aims at benefiting about 11,000 youth over the four year period, starting from 2011 to 2014 To ensure the programme is a success, the Government made some formal agreement with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to manage the programme. KEPSA is an amalgamation of business and corporate organizations who decided to work together to foster their interests. KEPSA therefore is mandated by the Government to handle the programme since it can easily talk to its members to take young people who have graduated from various colleges and give them chances for internship placement. Target Group:The internship programme is focused to address issues of lack of skills and work experience for disadvantaged youth in Kenya. Some 11,000 youth age years are targeted to go through the programme. Selection Criteria: Apart from the age bracket, the other criteria for youth to qualify is that they must have a minimum of 8 years of schooling and are out of school for at least a year and not working in the private sector over the period 20Representation: to ensure the inclusion of all Kenyans including women, youth, persons with disabilities, elected parliamentary representatives and respective government officials. Operation Prinviples:Accountability: to ensure government is held responsible to the citizenry for its decisions and actions. Accessibility: guaranteeing accessibility at the lowest level of engagement and for the largest category of recipients using a simple, structured and least cost approach. Economy: use of the least cost mechanism to achieve desired objective. 9

10 2.2 TRAINING AND INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME Duration of Training: The training and internship lasts for up to six months, with 50 per cent being spent at the workplace, and 50 per cent training with a third party training provider. Sectors Involved: Internship will be provided mainly by those sectors earmarked for growth within Vision 2030 planning period, and these are Energy, Finance, Tourism, ICT, Manufacturing and Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE). The youth receive a stipend of Kshs 6,000 per month with the employers receiving a monthly allowance of Kshs 3,000 for each intern they take. Informal Sector Interns: The Training Programme plans to train 500 Master Craftsmen in the three major cities (250 in Nairobi, 150 in Mombasa and 100 in Kisumu) so as to enable them mentor interns in the informal sector. Youth aged years are to take up their internship in the informal sector. Training In Three Cycles: The first cycle of training programme started in Nairobi with the first group of applicants randomly selected to participate in the project starting on 20th June 2011 and ended on 9th February The second cycle is ongoing in Mombasa, and the third for Kisumu will follow. Each cycle takes 6 months. 10

11 2.3 CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME THROUGH UWEZO FUND The Uwezo Fund in Kenya is a fund targeting youth and women. The term uwezo is Swahili word for empowerment.the fund has its genesis in the pledge the President made to allocate the Kshs 6 billion that was meant for the presidential run-off to youth and women groups. Objectives : Uwezo Fund has already been launched with the following objectives: To expand access to finance through grants and credit to promote youth and women businesses and enterprises at the constituency level, thereby enhancing economic growth towards the realization of the goals of Vision 2030; To generate gainful self-employment for Kenyan youth and women; To model an alternative framework in funding community driven development. Interest-free Grants and Loans: The fund provides youth and women access to grants and interest-free loans, as well as mentorship opportunities to enable them take advantage of the 30% government procurement preference for youth, women and persons with disabilities through its Capacity Building Programme. The Principles of Uwezo Fund: The fund operates on the following principles: Representation: to ensure the inclusion of all Kenyans including women, youth, persons with disabilities, elected parliamentary representatives and respective government officials. Accountability: to ensure government is held responsible to the citizenry for its decisions and actions. Accessibility: guaranteeing accessibility at the lowest level of engagement and for the largest category of recipients using a simple, structured and least cost approach. Economy: use of the least cost mechanism to achieve desired objective. 11

12 2.4 LABOUR EXPORT SCHEME The kenya government took a deliberate action to facilitate youth to acquire enployment in foreign countries The government works with a number of foreign recruitment agencies to search and secure employment opportunities for the youth Currently there are about 150 registered recruitment agencies mostly in major cities of Nairobi and Mombasa The youth who have succeeded to get jobs abroad are assisted financially through the Youth Development Fund to enable them travel and settle in their destination countries About youth get employment every year The government through the Ministry of Lanour Socilal Security and Services ensures that the youth receive appropriate wqges and fair conditions of work by examining and validating the employment contracts The Ministry together with the involved recruitment agents ensure that the young people are provided with appropriate predeparture information required before leaving the country 12

13 2.4 LABOUR EXPORT SCHEME Benefits: Apart from reducing unemployment among the youth, the labour export scheme has the following economic gains: Creation of employment Multiplier effect through remittances Transfer of technology Major destination countries for labour export: Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Qatar Lebanon Afghanistan Iraq 13

14 3.0 CHALLENGES Despite the government initiatives, someyouth employment issues and challenges continue exist. The most critical ones are: There exist poor working conditions in the informal sector where a large number of young women and men work. Industrial training and attachment which would provide young people with skills and experience to enhance their employability is still not adequate. Lack of capacity among the youth to organize themselves in a systematic manner that would facilitate easy reach and access to resources. The gap between the skills youth possess and those required by industry is still posing a big challenge as a large proportion of youth lack appropriate skills thus reducing their employability Lack of up-to-date labour market information as the available information on the labour market is outdated, unreliable, inadequate and often misunderstood. 14

15 The End Thank You 15

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