More jobs, higher salaries announced for youth

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 15:54 |
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary Margaret Kobia on GBV cases.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary Margaret Kobia. PD/FILE
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary Margaret Kobia. PD/FILE

The government has moved to ease unemployment among the youth by doubling the interns hired to work in the civil service from 4,000 to 8,000.

National Assembly Administration and National Security committee chair Paul Koinange said the move to be co-ordinated by the Public Service Commission (PSC), is aimed at easing job crisis in the civil service.

The interns’ stipends will also be increased from Sh25,000 to Sh28,000, Koinange revealed.

Proposals will be tabled before National Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee for consideration for the 2020/21 budget.

Hundreds of graduate interns in October 2019 ran into problems after some of the receiving State agencies turned them away.

People Daily established that the affected interns were victims of a standoff between the Public Service Commission (PSC), parastatals and other State agencies that had impeded their absorption as the institutions seek to control the recruitment process.

Already, interns posted to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Media Council of Kenya, Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Kenya Revenue Authority have been rejected.

Some heads of State agencies who spoke to us on condition of anonymity accused the PSC of having carried out the interviews which saw an inaugural batch of 3,600 graduates selected, without involving them, leading to suspicion over the exercise.

“The issue of KRA is still fresh in our minds, where the government sent in tens of State agents who ended up implicating the very people who were supposed to train them, in corruption. With the kind of situation we are in at the moment, who would want to consciously dig their own grave by allowing in would-be spies?” asked one parastatal head.

Another State agency boss claimed that some areas such as finance, accounts and ICT are sensitive that they “cannot trust someone from outside to work on a temporary basis”.

Others said the PSC did not ask them for their staffing needs to enable them to specify the kind of interns they required.

Distraught interns, whom we cannot name for ethical reasons, yesterday narrated to People Daily how they had been turned away from different government agencies they had been posted to by PSC  and asked to return to the recruiting agency.

“I reported to a government agency that deals with police issues on Monday, but the HR department told me that they had not received any communication from PSC about my being posted there. They said they had already recruited their own interns and they had nothing to do with PSC,” said an IT graduate.

Another graduate, who had been sent to the accounts department of a medical institution, narrated how his excitement and dreams were shattered when he was turned away.

With tears welling in his eyes, the graduate said: “They just told me that they had no vacancy for me and that I should report back to the PSC.”

Thorny issue

Tribulations for the interns come barely a week after Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary Margaret Kobia commissioned them to various ministries, departments and State agencies to start a year’s work programme that comes with a monthly stipend of Sh20,000.

The programme that was allocated Sh1 billion in the current financial year is targeted to benefit university graduates who completed their studies not earlier than 2015.

It is among the Jubilee administration’s promises made during the 2017 campaigns to empower the youth through job creation.

While the programme does not constitute an offer for employment in the public service, successful applicants were to be attached to various government ministries, departments and agencies, for a period of between 12 and 18 months, receiving a monthly stipend of between Sh20,000 and Sh30,000.

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