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PS at Utalii

New hope for labour migrant workers, as PS meets Agencies and Home Care Training Institutions

Hon. Geoffrey Kaituko, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Labour and Skills Development chaired a meeting with Private Recruitment Agencies and Homecare training providers. The discussion was based on reviewing the current process of skilled labourers’ migration, Pre-departure training of migrant workers and how best to streamline the process.

The meeting was aimed at deliberating on reviewing the current process of migration of skilled labourers and pre-departure training of migrant workers. Key on the agenda was also a discussion on how best to streamline the process of migration of migrants to other foreign countries.

Kenya is estimated to have close to 4 million migrant workers mainly in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf region, Australia and other African countries who sent home approximately 4 billion US Dollars (Ksh 484 Billion) in the 12-month period leading up to September of 2022.

While recognizing the role these agencies play in facilitating Kenyans’ access to employment opportunities abroad, he pointed out some malpractices which are of concern and they include: unethical recruitment practices, smuggling and trafficking persons; failing to present foreign contracts of service for attestation, presentation of fake or forged documents such as police clearance certificate; unwillingness by registered recruitment agencies to use online system at the National Employment Authority (NEA) among others.

The PS also noted that the pre-departure training is important and that during a government delegation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was noted that Kenyan migrant workers often lack basic knowledge of their employment contracts, Saudi culture, laws, Arabic language, social media engagement and customer service.

In this regard, the Ministry has directed that the pre-departure training curriculum be comprehensively reviewed to include aspects of Contract Management, knowledge of the culture and laws of the country of destination, social media management and attitudes on customer service as well as basic Arabic language. The National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) will also develop the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to guide in the inspection and accreditation of Homecare Management training providers, delivery of training, assessment and certification of homecare curriculum.

To improve labour migration further, the ministry has also put in place two key strategies in form of the National Policy on Labour Migration and the Labour Migration Management Bill, 2023 that are aimed at improving the coordination of labour migration management and protection of migrant workers.