The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency and various stakeholders launched the Homecare Management Curriculum on 17, October 2018. The aim of the curriculum is to equip Kenyan migrant workers, youth and workers in the domestic sector with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to enable them provide effective management of the home and resources, childcare and home nursing both locally and abroad. In addition, the curriculum has incorporated course units in pre-departure and life skills to acquaint migrant workers with skills and competencies to enable them cope with anticipated challenges in the new work environment in the host country. The curriculum will be updated frequently due to the changing dynamics of the work environment in countries of destination.
The curriculum will be taught in seven accredited institutions particularly: East Africa College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, East African Institute of Home Care Management, National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YDF), Pace International, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and Apsolid Vocational Training Institute Mombasa. IOM’s contribution to the curriculum development is through “The Promoting Safe and Fair Labour Migration from Kenya to the Gulf States” project funded by US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour through Verité (Labour Rights NGO based in the USA).
“The Homecare Management Curriculum will focus on five areas, home care, life skills, childcare, home care nursing and pre-departure training and is being accredited by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA). This courses will equip care givers with skills that will be useful as they seek employment locally and abroad due to the increased labour migration in the recent years”. Said Edith Okoki, National Employment Authority (NEA), Acting Director General. The Homecare Management Curriculum has been developed to meet the demand for skilled home care workers that has been increasing in the last few years. The curriculum also complies with international training standards making it competitive globally. Emphasized Mr. Paul Kosgey, Director General, NITA. “The Authority’s mandate is to promote the highest standards in the quality and efficiency on Industrial Training and adequate supply of properly trained manpower, therefore the development of this Curriculum is aimed at creating a productive, highly skilled and healthy workforce with practical knowledge and skills” he added
Amb. Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, cited Kenya has a highly qualified and educated work force and the demand for jobs is increasing and the country cannot absorb. This is has prompted the government to come up with job creation strategies locally and seeking employment opportunities outside the country through the NEAespecially in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arabs Emirates and Qatar. The Ministry of Labour currently labour attachés and Bilateral Labor Agreements (BLASs) signed between the three countries in Kenya. He added that the government is in the process of finalizing BLAs with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan. “The Ministry of labour has been working on some reforms to ensure that migrant workers migrate in an orderly, safe and dignified way. One of the reforms includes strict vetting of recruitment agencies seeking job placements for Kenyans abroad that entails security vetting, their ability to comply to all the legal requirements such as having business licenses, tax compliance among others. Mismanagement of labour mobility will have a negative impact for the states and individuals including human trafficking. Therefore, good management of the migrants is critical for sustainable development and contribute to the economy of the country”. Added the Cabinet Secretary.
The Chief of Mission IOM Kenya reaffirmed IOM’s commitment towards supporting the government of Kenya in ensuring safe labour migration. “IOM is currently implementing a project “Promoting Safe and fair labour migration from Kenya to the Gulf States” whose main objective is to promote ethical recruitment of labour migrants in Kenya and to strengthen mechanisms to monitor and enforce recruiter accountability through collaboration with relevant recruitment industry actors and agencies governed in Kenya. Said Michael Pillinger, Chief of Mission, IOM Kenya in his speech delivered by John Njoroge, National External Relations Officer.
Ann Mungai, a returnee who worked as a domestic worker in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shared her experiences among them culture shock in regards to religion, dressing and male and female interactions, language barrier with her employer, however with time she learnt some basic Arabic that eased communication, lack of knowledge on how to use house appliances such as washing machine and vacuum cleaner which she had to learn on the job. She lauded the launch of pre-departure curriculum that will help migrant workers settle into their new jobs easier. “If I had been trained, my work experience would have been more pleasant as I would have been equipped with skills and knowledge useful for my job”.