The National Employment Authority (NEA) was created in 2016 by the National Employment Authority Act 2016 and it provides the legal framework and Mandate of the Authority. It was launched on 17th May 2019 and declares that its mission is to formulate and implement employment policies and programmes for the creation of sustainable employment for all Kenyans.
The functions of the National Employment Authority as set out in the Act are:
(a) advise on formulation of employment policies and strategies fornationaland county governments;
(b) advise both the national and county governments on any policy matterconcerning employment;
(c) develop methodologies for employment measurement, managementand promotion;
(d) conduct periodic surveys on labour market skills requirements andadvice training institutions and job seekers appropriately to ensurethat training and skills match the job market requirements;
(e) monitor implementation of employment policies and programmes;
(f) facilitate cooperation with the national government, the private sector,the informal sector and foreign governments and institutions topromote and increase access to employment;
(g) facilitate, continuous training and other activities of Kenyans toimprove of their chances of employment and work skills;
(h) register persons seeking employment;
(i) maintain an integrated and up-to-date database of all persons seeking
(j) facilitate the employment and placement ofjob seekers in formal andinformal or any other form of employment, locally and internationally;
(k) circulate in a timely manner job vacancies advertised to job seekersthroughout Kenya through appropriate means including use of socialmedia, internet, and published materials;
(l) provide counseling to the unemployed and undertake activities topromote employment;
(m) facilitate the implementation of national policies on employment;
(n) take necessary steps to encourage equal opportunity employmentpractices for the benefit of the unemployed; andperform such other function as may be assigned to it by any otherwritten law.
How many of the youth and other older people seeking employment, in employment are familiar, aware, informed about the mandate, workings of the National Employment Authority in the Counties of the former Western Province of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and the neighbouring Trans Nzoia County?
How prepared, ready to compete for employment opportunities in Kenya and beyond are the youth and others in this region? Is it just a question of lamenting about lack of employment opportunities or do we have structures, proactive programmes by our County governments, National Government in the region and elected leaders from Senators, Members of Parliament, MCAs that target to empower assist guide, promote the capacity of those seeking employment to be effective in those endeavours. Are our youth fully aware that most employment opportunities in the National government are advertised online on the Public Service Commission website and equally for State Corporations and private enterprises? That jobs are now exclusively to be searched online?
Have the parents empowered these youth with smartphones which are as cheap as Kshs. 3,000.00 as tools to enable the youth who are guided to search for employment and/or initiate self-employment activities on the digital landscape. Are the youth-oriented to the key ingredients that make one ready for any competitive job including having the necessary documentation from a Certificate of Good Conduct, National ID, a passport, Credit Reference Bureau clearance, a well-crafted CV to name a few.
Are our youth aware that employment can be searched for beyond the borders of Kenya in all English speaking countries of the world? Are they aware that the National EmploymentAuthority now legally vets and registers all organizations that make the placement of jobs for Kenyans in foreign countries and therefore minimize fraud that used to surround those agencies?
For the region to grow socially, economically politically it must harness its human capital and enable it to productively engage itself in the region and beyond the region in Kenya and overseas. That employed, productively engaged human capital will generate the wealth that will transform the region. The management, optimization, empowerment of our human capital must be enhanced, strengthened, prioritized if we are to meet our socio-economic and political aspirations.
The intangible levers that transform societies must not be taken for granted, ignored, misunderstood for we will then keep on wondering why are other communities, societies, regions of Kenya and beyond marching forward in socio-economic transformation and we aren’t.
The business of getting employment, productive engagementof our most productive segment of our population the youth and young adults is serious business that requires utmost intelligence and programmes to harness that population whenthey are in their prime. So how are we handling, providing the solutions to the perennial unemployment, employment question that is the greatest challenge to our youth, young adults and all age sets of our people? That question must be internalized and solutions provided for us to progress.