Kenya’s migrant workers get a leg up

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Denzel Musumba

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The government receives an average of 15 distress calls per day on employment-related disputes from Kenyans abroad. And this suffering by Kenyans at the hands of rogue employers and employment agencies in foreign lands has spurred the government into action The Ministry of Labour has set up a labour migration unit to protect the increasing number of Kenyans travelling, working or living abroad. The unit, established with the support of the International Organisation for Migration and based at Labour ministry headquarters, will act as a one-stop shop where information will be processed and enquiries on labour migration addressed. Labour ministry permanent secretary Beatrice Kituyi said all international employers and employment agencies will now have be registered and vetted. They will also be required to submit regular returns with details of the jobs they were offering, the employers they were recruiting for, location, terms of services and remuneration. At the same time, Ms Kituyi said job-seekers were encouraged to register with employment bureaus nearest to them. “Employers with vacant positions will also register, detailing the nature of the jobs, the skills required and the wages being offered,” she said. In addition, they will be required to register with the umbrella body — the Kenya Association of Private Employers Agencies. The development comes at a time when there have been rising cases of unsuspecting job-seekers being conned of huge sums of money by bogus employment agencies advertising non-existent jobs. “This happens because of lack of information about the jobs on offer,” Ms Kituyi said. It is hoped that the unit will go a long way in providing information on of labour migration, giving the government an opportunity to serve better those taking up international jobs. For more info www.eastafricaradiousa.com

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