National Youth Service (NYS) graduates will be given priority in the allocation of the 100,000 jobs Kenya has secured in the United Arabs Emirates.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade secretary Amina Mohamed said NYS graduates have the right skills to cope with life and work abroad.
“Priority will be given to those going through NYS because they have been impacted with skills on what to expect in a foreign land and how to develop themselves,” said Amb Mohamed.
“We have talked with United Arabs Emirates, which has promised to give our youth jobs in hospitality sector, transport sector, manufacturing, airlines, among others,” she added.
There have been cases of abuse of Kenyan workers in Arab countries, especially those who go for domestic work, a move that has forced the government to streamline conditions for those seeking employment in the Middle East.
UAE’s Interior ministry officials, who were in the country last week, said the initial job openings would be pegged on available vacancies, noting that announcement on the conditions to be met would be revealed later.
The UAE government has already announced that 10,000 jobs will be on offer initially for Kenyans who would be selected in various disciplines.
This will be the pioneer batch of a 100,000 jobs deal reached between the two governments.
The State is initiating reforms at the NYS aimed at creating employment for thousands of young people by deploying them in various sectors of the economy including security, specifically in the Nyumba Kumi initiative.
Kenya re-engineered the youth service programme, whose budget has been increased to Sh11.5 billion in the current financial year.
The strategy involves recruiting 21,870 youths to the NYS yearly, up from the current 2,000.
NYS trainees will also be mandated with dam and road construction, vector control units, taking part in slum civil works, traffic control and agriculture units.
Amb Mohamed was speaking in Ethiopia where she said Kenya was undertaking initiatives aimed at engaging the youth to tame cases of a radicalisation and extremism.
Other initiatives, the CS said, include the Uwezo Fund that seeks to avail capital to the youth for support in entrepreneurial activities and the Slum Upgrade Project that provides jobs to the youth.
“The youth are critical element in ensuring sustainable development in Africa. We should work together to support initiatives that uplift their social economic conditions,” she said.