The unemployment crisis in Siaya County has reared its head with over 20, 000 residents putting in applications for the 300 jobs advertised by the County Public Service Board (CPSB) last month.
The high number of applicants sets the stage for a stiff recruitment exercise that will also leave more than 20, 000 dejected by failure to secure jobs.
According to the CPSB roadmap for recruitment, the application process closed on December 3, 2022, after which the candidates who will have been shortlisted will be published on the CPSB website. This is expected to take more than one month.
Addressing the media, CPSB Chairman Elijah Achoch said 11,750 people applied online while 10, 082 applied manually.
"We are happy with the turnout and we're assuring the applicants that the recruitment exercise will be on merit," said Achoch.
He added that downloading and printing the online applications will take at least five days, with shortlisting analysis, verification, authentication and approvals taking at least three weeks.
Among the positions advertised are eight Chief Officers and 50 Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers.
The health department is expected to recruit more than 100 new staff.
The board also re-advertised positions for the County Audit Committee chairperson and members.
The recruitment comes amid several recommendations by the former Auditor General Edward Ouko's-led taskforce on governance.
According to the task force report released last month, the county government should reconsider the ongoing recruitment in line with the task force's recommendation relating to staff rationalisation.
"The county government should discontinue the direct recruitment of temporary staff (casual) by departments and establish a system for all such recruitment to be carried out by the CPSB subject to approval of the request by the County Executive Committee," recommended the task force.
Upon review of the governance structure, the seven-member committee recommended the separation of the Department of Governance and Administration from the Office of the Governor.
The task force further recommended strengthening the Office of the County Secretary with three directorates namely, the Executive Committee Affairs, Public Service and ICT, Chief Operations Office and the County Attorney.
In a bid to deliver Governor James Orengo's "Nyalore" manifesto, Ouko's report advised the county to establish the Governor’s Delivery Unit (GDU) as a directorate reporting directly to the Governor.
Mr Achoch, who has assured applicants who excel in terms of interviews and qualifications that they will be given first priority, added that other constitutional obligations on recruitment will also be considered.
"Other than excelling in the interviews and qualifications, the recruitment will also consider gender, regional balance, youth and Persons With Disability," he explained.