County sets aside Sh130 million to pay interns

In the programme degree holders will be paid Sh 13,500 each, Sh 11,500 for diploma graduates and Sh 8,500 for those holding certificate credentials. [Courtesy]
650 trainees will pocket the money in the plan designed by governor Jackson Mandago's administration, ostensibly to deal with the high unemployment rate in the county and impart skills on young graduates. 

The young men and women will be paid Sh 13,500 each for degree holders, Sh 11,500 for diploma graduates and Sh 8,500 for those holding certificate credentials.

This translates to a total annual pay of Sh40 million for degree holders, Sh34 million for diploma graduates and Sh15 million for certificate holders.

Although it is not clear what specific duties the interns will be assigned, the Standard learnt that they will be deployed to various departments within the county where they are expected to stay for twelve months before moving out.

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The county, according to the county service board chairman, Joseph Tanui has set aside the millions to sustain the interns for the duration of their stay.

Yesterday, Mr. Tanui described the pay as  'a token of appreciation by the county meant to cushion them in the duration of the internship.'

“The amount is primarily a token ...We shall also be making follow up and guiding them in the process in order to ensure that they also get a good recommendation,” he said.

The money to be paid to trainees is 30 percent of the total revenue collected by the county in 2016/2017 financial year.

It is not clear if the county will be able to sustain the internship programme as most counties are constantly struggling to pay regular workers. Uasin Gishu county was also among those that were cited by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) as having failed to grow its revenue in the 2016/2017 financial year.

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Members of the county Assembly (MCAs) approved the Sh 130 million internship 'stipend' during the last supplementary budget, in what the county representatives argued was an avenue to create employment in the county.

The interns, drawn from across the 30 county wards are set to present their academic papers to the county authorities between today and tomorrow.

"We are rolling out internship programs all geared towards giving unemployed graduates in the county a chance to gain practical work experience. It is one of Governor Jackson Mandago’s promises during the 2017 general elections,” said Mr.  Tanui.

The plan has however drawn mixed reactions, with Langas Members of County Assembly (MCA) Francis Muya opining that the number of applicants should have been scaled down if the objectives of the plan are to be realised.

“I support governor Mandago’s plan on the internship program which is populist but how I wish the move should not have been hurriedly implemented so that we can weigh it on the needs and development agenda.

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He added: “Similarly, the number of individuals should have been reduced to 150 so that the amount can cover mainly rent, transportation and food," he said.

The County Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Mr. Jonathan Ng’etich said before setting aside the funds, the committee scrutinised all the policy documents from various departments.

“In our querying, we advised all the departments involved to ensure that they come up with a comprehensive policy report backing the internship program. It is a good initiative that seeks to provide skills to our youths,” said Mr.Ngetich.

"Where are the policy documents that will back the programme and what is the criteria that was used in selecting the interns? If the county cannot pay its workers, where will they get money to oay trainees," asked Brian Kiprono," a resident.

Another resident, Magoi Kibet however backed the idea saying it will 'give hope to the youths.'

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internshipuasin gishu countygovernor jackson mandago