Support Ruto's endeavours to find jobs for Kenyan youths abroad

President William Ruto during a previous foreign trip. [Courtesy vickymorgan_27 X]

President William Ruto's decision to help secure jobs for millions of Kenyans seeking for employment opportunities beyond our borders is laudable. 

Our surging population and diminishing opportunities compel the government to think beyond the borders. 

On this, fellow Kenyans, let's give our president the benefit of doubt and see how far he can go in reducing joblessness in the country.

Those who have struggled unsuccessfully to get jobs are ready to go to any length to earn a living in any part of the world and support their families. Those criticising the President's determination to bail them out without offering tangible solutions are increasingly becoming enemies of the unemployed lot.  

However, the recent directive that for any Kenyan to get the government-secured opportunities abroad, they must first undergo National Youth Service training needs to be reviewed. 

Only youths below 24 years are eligible to join NYS. This obviously leaves out millions of youths below the age 35 years, who are also in need of the job opportunities abroad. 

Unless the NYS opens doors to all people below 35 years and they are ready to undergo rigorous training ahead of the deployment abroad, many young people will be locked out. 

As I write this, a number of people I know have left to work in foreign countries and majority of them are over 24 years old. 

Seeking jobs for Kenyans abroad but restricting the employment to those in NYS and under 24 years is unacceptable.  

Again, as at now, NYS only recruits a total of 20,000 young people against the many thousands of youths who express interest to join the institution.

Were that number to be doubled as the President promised, still 40,000 youths per a year will not be enough to send abroad and some of them to remain to join the military and other disciplined forces. 

More NYS centres then ought to be established and fully equipped to match the bigger numbers that will henceforth be jostling for training opportunities there.  

The President said from the next recruitment exercise, he will ensure that all villages across the country will be represented. How that will happen with only 20,000 available opportunities is an enigma that only time will address. 

As Kenyans wait for the doors of opportunity abroad to open, the government should henceforth put in place mechanisms to ensure that the hiring countries will accord successful Kenyans all international labour benefits and rights.

We should not leave it to the lucky individual Kenyans to go and negotiate their terms of services. The contractual agreements must be deposited with our respective embassies. 

The Diaspora ministry must have clear records of all Kenyans shipped out as workers with direct contact addresses in case of any mistreatment or breach of contract.

Otherwise, we should trust President Ruto on this one and urge him to follow up on all the job opportunity offers he has received during his numerous global tours in the last one year.

Failure to secure the said jobs for the youths will be a major campaign tool against the government by the opposition. 

I urge the Opposition led by Raila Odinga to give Ruto the benefit of doubt on this one since creating about two million jobs currently is an impossibility in Kenya.

Meanwhile, it's about time that the government-initiated debate on our birth rate. Leaving couples to get as many children as they wish will continue putting a strain on the economy.

Big families end up gravely affecting little disposable family resources and erodes family purchasing power.

Go, Mr President, go and get our young ones the jobs that you have promised them.