By BONIFACE MULU
Some 80 per cent of the employment in the world is in the formal sector, the Better Utilisation of Skills for Youth (BUSY) Project Chief Technical Advisor, Dr. Hari Pada Das has said. The BUSY Project is a four year (2017-2020) programme in Kenya and is covering three of the country’s 47 counties namely Kitui, Kilifi and Busia. And it is funded by the United States Department of Labour and implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in partnership with the Kenya’s Labour Ministry, the Federation of Kenya Employers and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Kenya. “The ILO is a tripartite organisation.
That is the government, the employer and the worker,” Das said. He announced that they started the implementation of their project (the BUSY) in Kilifi County in February 2018. The ILO official was speaking during a Kitui quality apprenticeship programming and action planning meeting organised by the ILO for the BUSY Project Kitui County Committee members at the Kitui Cottages in Kitui Town on Thursday, September 20, 2018. “We have discussed with the Kitui County Deputy Governor Gideon Wathe Nzau, Kitui Central District Commissioner Otieno Odidi and the County Education, ICT and Youth Development Minister David M.Kivoto about your committee,” Das told the committee members. “I thank you and the media for supporting the initiative,” he further said.
“We are here to support you. The committee means you guide us. You people will guide us in our project,” Das added. And he hailed Kitui County for taking the lead in the project. “ I support the youth employment agenda in Kitui,” the ILO official added. Das said their interest is to assist skills in the National Industrial
Training Authority (NITA) centres in Kenya to empower the country’s young people to get employment through technical skills. He said that the NITA is their key partner in the BUSY Project.
The project’s other key partners are the Kenya’s Departments of Labour, Youth and TVET, COTU, FKE, CDACC, TVETA and MSEA. “At the ILO we are looking for employment. And we are also looking for the decent employment; not only employment,” Das, who is also the Project Director said.
He said the skills through vocational training is one way of building a job. And on his part, the BUSY Project Senior Training Officer, Duncan Ndung’u Ndegwa, hailed the Kitui County “for its quality apprenticeship programming and action planning for thousands of its (the county) youths” whom he said that they engage in sand harvesting and charcoal burning activities to get money. .
The ILO official said that after the completion of the secondary school education, some 12 per cent of the Kenya’s youths find jobs in the formal sector, 40 per cent in the informal sector, 15 per cent looking for jobs and 25 per cent continue with studies.
Our country is a global competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030,” Ndegwa added. He disclosed that the ILO East Africa Country Office covers Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. “And it (the office) is in Tanzania and is headed by the director,” he added.
He further disclosed that the organisation’s regional office is in Cote d’Voire. In his speech, the Kitui County Education, ICT and Youth Development Minister, David M.Kivoto, said that there are countries like Germany, India and China that insist on technical skills.
And he said that some 75 per cent of the youths in that countries are employed in the informal sector. Hailing the BUSY Project, Kivoto said: “Our ministry is very committed to this project
And I myself I am committed to it because I know its meaning. This is the time for the project for us,” the minister said. “You will have all my support in the project,” he assured the project’s owners.
He further said: “The county has plenty of resources. What we lack is the experts. So I keep on seeing organisations such as the ILO, UNDP and UNICEF among others as very good people whom we can partner with in our county’s development programmes,” Kivoto said.
In his speech, the US Department of Labour’s Child Labour, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking Office International Relations Analyst, Jon Underdahl-Peirce, said that they have been supporting the fight against the child labour in Kenya,
Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia for a long time. And he announced that they are going to include the Senegal in the programme in 2020. Others who also spoke at the meeting included Isaac Kiema from the FKE and the COTU Kenya Programmes Manager Damaris Muhika. Kitui County Commissioner Samuel Wanjohi Kimiti had been represented at the meeting by Kitui Central District Officer Beatrice Denga.