| Mwamadi Sumbukeni
Youths seeking to work abroad will no longer have to be exploited by greedy middlemen who ask for exorbitant charges for jobs that are already available thereby locking thousands of Kenyans from potential employment.
This is because the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is initiating an ambitious scheme where those seeking for abroad job opportunities will be supported through an integrated process where local job seekers and foreign employers will be handled by a structured labour export secretariat that would cut out job agencies.
A Youth Employment Scheme Abroad (YESA) secretariat will be set up in all 47 Counties where people will be able to upload their credentials and the secretariat will facilitate job searches by scanning opportunities available abroad that matches the particular qualifications of an individual, according to Youth Enterprise Development Fund’s Chairman Gor Semelang’o.
At a time when there have been increasing cases of shoddy employment contracts leading to disputes especially for Kenyans working in the Gulf countries this scheme also means that Kenyans working abroad will be cushioned from the whims of such bosses.
“It means that we will look at the contracts that you sign before you travel abroad and we’ll also be able to inform our ambassadors abroad the people who are going and where they are going and the contract they’ve signed and a copy of that contract so that young people would no longer be molested in foreign countries when they seek these employments” said Mr. Semelang’o.
As part of the scheme those leaving the country will also be granted a migration loan in the form of a three per cent non repayable air ticket loan in addition to free medical test and small upkeep money.
“We are also partnering with the ILO and IOM to do what is called pre-departure training, we train you before you leave the country for the culture shock,” he added.
Noting that this model has been successful in the Philippines he stressed the need of borrowing a leaf from the East Asia country in an effort to streamline the labour export industry.
“That’s how Philippines has done it and we want to do that here because there are many young people who have skills here but they don’t have jobs,” said Mr. Semelang’o. “It is structured labour export it means we can ask the government to give us a billion and we put back into the economy shs30 billion” he said.