NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja says his Bill seeking to boost hiring of youths in the public service is not aimed at restricting persons aged above 35 years from seeking employment in the government.
Sakaja, who was introducing debate to the National Youth Employment Authority Bill, said his efforts will demand that hiring authorities like the Public Service Commission first refer to the database before advertising for jobs through the media.
Those aged above 35 will only be considered if the skills and qualifications required are not available in the youth database which will house details of job seekers like the county of origin and ethnicity.
“I must disband some of the myths, this Bill initially received a lot of inaccurate reporting, that Honourable Sakaja wants to lock out any person above the age of 35 from getting a job that is far from the truth, which is not true. I am sure if any of my friends saw that they would quickly call my wife to find out which psychiatric institution I have been taken to because that would be pure madness. This Bill does not seek to lock anyone out,” said the Nominated MP.
“The government shall take affirmative action measures and actions designed to promote the employment of youth in management and other levels of employment regardless of their years of experience,” notes the Bill which proposes that the State offers undisclosed incentives to private institutions that employ the youth within six months of completing their studies.
The restrictive hiring of public servants is likely to raise questions on whether it violates the Bill of Rights, which outlaws discrimination on the basis of age.
Sakaja explained that the proposed authority will assist in curbing cases of Kenyans being duped and exploited after taking up jobs in foreign lands.
“We have seen very sad cases of young people suffering in Saudi Arabia and Dubai because they have been employed through unscrupulous employment bureaus. They go there to work as house girls but they are mistreated and many of them have lost their lives,” he explained.
The Nominated MP added; “by passing this Bill this will be a thing of the past because all of this government-to-government or international job matching and placement will be done squarely by this institution and this authority will be dealing with the government, they will be able to check on our young people all over the world.”
Minority Coalition Deputy Whip Chris Wamalwa led MPs in lauding the laws which he said will fast-track youth to management cadres through affirmative action although it does not outline how this will be achieved.
“Majority of the people who are getting these top executive jobs, they are not the youths so when it comes to employment they follow suit, and majority are not the youth. Unless we put the youth in decision making bodies that is when they will start going places,” he said.
Wamalwa said; “As time goes by, I look forward to seeing a President who is a youth, not a youthful president but a youth president who is less than those particular years.”