Students in higher learning institutions will now find it easier to get paid internships. This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law a bill creating a state agency tasked with facilitating youth employment.
The new law provides for the establishment of an agency (National Youth Employment Authority). The authority will have responsibilities of among other things, to secure paid internships for learners, while they (students) seek employment individually or through the Authority.
The youth will be required to register with the Authority, with the process for finding opportunities in both private and public sectors being free and open to Kenyans between the age of 18 and 35 years.
The new law, which was sponsored by Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja, is expected to mitigate the problem of youth unemployment by helping youngsters to not only enhance their skills but also earn an income during their internships.
This comes amid claims that the President had rejected another bill which proposed a salary of 20000 shillings to any graduate without a job in Kenya. The President allegedly failed to assent to such a bill into law because it would have made the budget unsustainable.
President Kenyatta who campaigned for his election on the platform of inclusiveness, youth and digital economy urged the youth to create job opportunities for themselves even as the government makes it conducive for them to open up their own businesses. The Kenyan youth are said to be the most restless and overdependent on the government of the day. Over 60% of the youths are currently unemployed.
The bill was among four others that President Uhuru enacted on Friday. The others included the Small Claims Court Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 51 of 2015), the Mediated Version of the County Governments (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 1 of 2014) and the Mediated Version of the National Drought Management Authority Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 42 of 2013).