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There is no place for youth in Civil Service

By Moses Nyamori | October 17th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The Civil Service is dominated by an ageing workforce at a time young graduates are struggling to find jobs, reports by State agencies show.

A document prepared by the Public Service Commission (PSC) titled Human Resource Planning and Succession Management Strategy for Public Service shows that the country had 69,445 civil servants by December 2016.

Payroll data revealed that 35 per cent of national government employees are aged between 51-60 years while 53 per cent are aged between 46-50 years.

The report further revealed that the majority of employees in management positions were aged over 46 years.

PSC officials have in the past told the National Assembly that, in certain circumstances, they have been forced to retain employees aged over 60 years due to succession gaps at senior management levels.

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The mandatory retirement age for civil servants is 60 years.

The concerns come amid worrying levels of unemployment among university and college graduates.

Many have been forced to do work they were not trained for after long and fruitless job searches.

There are an estimated 700,000 staff working for the government in ministries and parastatals, independent institutions like the Teachers Service Commission, county governments and the disciplined forces.

Of this workforce, the youth comprise 17.4 per cent, with a paltry 0.03 per cent occupying senior positions.

Ironically, Kenyans aged below 40 years make up nearly 75 per cent of the population.

Of the 47 per cent of Kenyans with formal training and who are eligible for various jobs, youths aged between 19 and 35 years only hold 20 per cent of national government jobs.

Those over 50 years, who represent 23 per cent of job-eligible Kenyans, hold 35 per cent of public service jobs.

A breakdown of civil servants by age cluster revealed that at least 11,879 civil servants were aged between 51 and 60 years.

Another 12,057 civil servants were aged between 56 and 60 years, while 399 were over the age of 60.

Those aged between 46 and 50 were 11,739, meaning some have since crossed over the 50-year mark.

Another human resource audit conducted in the national and county governments between 2014 and 2015 revealed that the Civil Service was faced with an ageing workforce, where 31 per cent of staff at both levels of governance were aged between 50 and 59 years.

The audit was done under the Capacity Assessment and Rationalisation of the Public Service Programme.

Another 30 per cent of the workforce was in the 40-49 age bracket while 40 per cent of staff in a number of ministries were aged 50 years and above.

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