The soaring rate of youth unemployment in Kenya is considered a ticking time bomb by a section of the leaders, Saboti Member of Parliament, Caleb Amisi, included. The fact that it takes a graduate averagely five good years to land a job speaks volume and worse, about 50,000 graduates are churned out to the job market yearly yet only 10,000 can be comfortably accommodated.
The lawmaker is concerned that thousands of graduates who are being churned out from the local universities and colleges every year have nowhere to go because the job market is already over-saturated and is planning to table in Parliament a draft bill seeking to compel the government to include all the unemployed Kenyan graduates on its payroll until they find employment.
According to the MP who seems to agree with the term ‘if they can’t employ us, then they should pay us’, it is the responsibility of the government of the day to create job opportunities for the fresh graduates and they have failed.
Amisi joins other sections in the republic who feel that lack of jobs is on a daily basis pushing the skilled and jobless youths into joining criminal gangs which terrorize residents or promotes drug abuse and insecurity beyond the Kenyan border.
“To prevent the youths, especially the unemployed graduates, from joining criminal gangs and militia groups like al-Shabaab, the government should pay them stipends to enable them to take care of their daily needs,” the legislator said.
The MP added the government would not be able to accomplish the much talked about Big Four agenda without addressing youth unemployment first.
A recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had ranked Kenya as having the highest unemployment rate in the East Africa region. According to the study, one out of every five youth in the country is unemployed even as thousands of graduates are released into the labor market yearly.
Magazine Reel has established that President Uhuru Kenyatta is partly counting on the expansion of the local manufacturing sector, which is one of his Big Four development agendas, to mitigate the youth unemployment headache.
As of today, the informal (Jua Kali) sector employs at least 86% of the workforce and controls about 80% of the economy.
If approved, the Kenyan unemployed graduates will join their colleagues in India who are poised to receive Rs 9,000 every month and Finland who receive €560 per month.