Kenya Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani says that only 65 privately-owned hiring firms have received government’s nod to recruit Kenyans for jobs abroad.
Speaking during a meeting with recruitment agencies from the Coast in Mombasa, Yatani said all companies must comply with the new regulations before getting licences to place Kenyans for jobs overseas, as the government looks to end mistreatment of workers abroad.
“Agencies especially in Nairobi have fully complied with the regulatory framework but very little is said at the Coast.”
“Those wishing to engage in recruitment must familiarise themselves with the new requirement and regulations,” Mr Yatani said.
He said the government will make sure that hiring firms adhere to the regulations and that Kenyans will only be allowed to work in countries that has signed agreements with Kenya.
“In April 2016, the government lifted the ban on export of all categories except domestic and low skilled cadres.”
“Any engagement of this vulnerable group will only be allowed with countries which have signed a bilateral agreement with Kenya,” Mr Yatani said.
“This will protect domestic and low skilled cadres from any mistreatment, abuse or job scam. Job-seekers should be informed of what they are signing up for and the conditions of work abroad,” Mr Yatani insisted.
He also revealed that a inter-ministerial vetting committee has been established to vet registration of private recruitment agencies.
“The committee has only approved and registered 65 private recruitment agencies to recruit and place Kenyan workers abroad.
“The agencies have fully complied with the new regulatory framework. Migrant workers must undergo mandatory pre-departure training to acquaint them with the new environment,” the CS added.
Ukur said his ministry has sent attaches to Middle East, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to check on the welfare of Kenyan workers.
Hundreds of Kenyan migrant workers in the Middle East nations mostly working as domestic workers, cleaners, drivers, chefs among other cadres have complained of mistreatment, torture and abuse by their employers.