Kenyans seeking jobs abroad will be trained on foreign cultures, MP Karemba says

National Assembly’s Labour Committee chairman Mauchangi Karemba during an interview on Spice FM on August 23, 2023. [The Standard]

Kenyans seeking employment abroad will be trained on foreign cultures before relocating, National Assembly Labour Committee Chair Muchangi Karemba now says. 

Karemba said the mandatory training will forestall a possible clash of cultures that has caused Kenyans working abroad many problems, including physical, mental and sexual abuse and in worst cases, death.

“We’ve had cases of people going out of the country to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait having not been taught the culture. The government, through the National Industrial Training Authority, has introduced a pre-departure training which takes around a month where people leaving the country are trained on what to expect on the other side,” said Karemba on Spice FM’s breakfast show on Wednesday, August 23. 

Karemba said the ministry is determined to bring order into the industry that has been marred by controversies.

Additionally, officials from the Ministry of Labour have been sent to Saudi Arabia to negotiate a Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) so that the government will also play a role in taking people to the country.

“The idea is that thousands of these trained workers get opportunities to go and work in Saudi Arabia and other countries,” he said.

The number of those flying out of the country has decreased over time with Saudi Arabia preferring workers from border countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.

“Ugandans and Ethiopians are considered docile compared to Kenyans who are thought of as aggressive Kenyans,” said Karemba.

For years, there has been news of Kenyans being tortured, raped and even killed in the Gulf Countries.

That notwithstanding, jobless Kenyans -- most of them young women -- continue to seek ‘greener pastures’ in the Gulf countries.