Kenya National Bureau of Statistics estimates that there are 7 million unemployed Kenyans and 1.7 million others in dire need of a job. Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa has fronted a bill to amend the Employment Act and Social assistance Act to cushion the youth and the unemployed against the harsh economic times through a mainstream internship in the sector.
“The Bill seeks to provide a minimum wage payable to interns. It also seeks to make provision for a requirement for all employees to file annual internship returns with the director of employment,” reads the proposed amendment.
If the bill is adopted it will make mandatory for both public and private firms employing more than 50 employees to ensure 5% of the workforce are interns, earning a monthly stipend Ksh 20000, interning for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of two years and unemployed youth will get a monthly hardship allowance of Sh3,000.
“We want to anchor it into law so that implementation of whether to accept interns or not should not be at the wimps of the HR managers, but will be obliged by law. Once their internship period is over, the companies will be obliged to absorb them on the first-priority basis,” said Mr Barasa.
A big number of unemployed youths are unable to sustain living in urban areas where opportunities are found, despite their academic qualifications. The government will be parting away with Ksh 93.6 billion in the first year to accommodate the unemployed youths, but the figure will shoot to Ksh 100.8 billion in the second year if the bill is adopted. Also, employers will be required to notify the director of employment of every vacancy in his establishment, business or workplace