0n 7th March 2018, KEPSA participated in the validation of the National Internship Policy and Guidelines, organized by the National Employment Authority, at Panafric Hotel, Nairobi. The event brought together the public and the private sector stakeholders.
The objective of the validation workshop was to present the Draft Internship Policy and guideline to stakeholders for input.
Ms. Winnie Pertet, the Chairperson of the National Employment Authority (NEA) Board, in her welcoming remarks applauded the private sector and some major state corporations who have developed well-coordinated internship programmes with clear guidelines and policies in place. However, most organizations in both the public and private sectors implement ad hoc internship programmes without adhering to any policy standards. She further noted that globally, the job market keeps on changing as a result of technological advancement; however, the youth in the country are not acquiring jobs despite having been trained due to skills mismatch possessed by graduates versus industry needs, thus the need to put in place interventions which ensure that youth are equipped with workplace experience that is in tandem with the global changes.
The National Employment Authority Act, 2016 provides for a comprehensive institutional framework for employment creation in terms of enhancing employment promotion interventions, and promoting access to employment by the youth, minorities and marginalized groups. It further provides for placement for internship and monitoring of all placements to ensure that intern’s rights are not violated. The Act therefore provides a solid legal framework for developing and implementing a National Internship Programme in the country.
The National Internship Policy is therefore a framework for engagement with both the formal and informal dichotomy toward fostering globally competitive and adaptable human resource to meet the skills of the rapidly changing industrialized economy. Through this Policy, the Government seeks to provide a framework for implementation of internship programmes in the country and to ensure proper coordination of the same for the benefit of both employers and interns. Interns will be provided with quality experience that involves meaningful activities and the opportunity to learn and gain practical work experience in their field of study. They will further be provided with quality supervision and evaluation by the employer during and after internship. The Private Sector support is therefore key in implementation of the Internship policy and guideline.
The policy targets educated but unemployed youth, and constitutionally exempts the defence forces, the reserves, the National Police Service, the Kenya Prisons Service or National Youth Service.
The objectives of the National Internship Policy are to:
- Ensure a well-structured and coordinated internship programme;
- Provide graduates with work experience opportunities
- Provide standards applicable to internship
- Provide a framework for monitoring and evaluation of the national internship programme;
- Strengthen linkages between training institutions and the industry
During the presentation of the draft Internship policy and guideline, the key gaps identified by the participants included: lack of clarity on proposed incentives for employers and allowances for Internship, lack of clarity on definition of target scope in that the policy seemed to focus more on graduates from tertiary institutions and left out artisans/apprentices.
The workshop was concluded with the agreement that National Employment Authority reviews the draft policy further and hold follow up discussion with the relevant stakeholders to ensure development of a National Integrated Policy that provides a clear guidance across the county. The Authority is also expected to review incentives to private sector and assess the practical implementation of the policy particularly in the private sector. Given the substantial work that need to go into reviewing of the draft policy and guidelines, NEA will schedule a second stakeholder validation forum on the revised policy before presentation to parliament as a sessional paper.
In attendance were Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS); Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), National Employment Authority (NEA),Media, Public Service Commission(PSC), Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, National Youth Council Kenya (NYC), Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) and the National Treasury among others.