The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the National Employment Authority (NEA) with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) on the newly approved pre-departure curriculum from 21-23 August 2018. The participating institutions were also involved in the development and validation of the curriculum. The pre-departure training will be given to potential migrant workers after they secured jobs and are ready to travel and work in the country of destination.
The trainers will form part of the pool from seven accredited institutions for the training, 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. During the ToT, there were also other senior government officials from the Ministry of Labour & Social Protection from Mombasa and Nairobi. The first ToT was held in July at Athi River and covered the pre-employment curriculum aimed to prepare semi-skilled workers in the domestic sector on homecare management and life skills.
The pre-departure training covered these topics: introduction to labour migration, labour migration trends & bilateral agreements in the Kenyan context, planning and conducting effective training sessions, effective communication, introduction to homecare management course, preparation for journey and packing, culture shock and adjustment tips, human trafficking for labour exploitation, and Remittances.
Four returnees who had worked in the Gulf States specifically Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates shared their experiences with the participants in the training session. One of them, a domestic worker cited that she was shocked by the strict restrictions on male and female interactions, and they cannot even sit together in a bus. While a security guard mentioned that he was not aware of the extremely hot weather conditions he had to work under then. They all agreed that the pre-departure curriculum will prepare migrant workers emotionally and physically as well as give them basic technical skills that will be useful in the workplace.
Jane Kamau, Centre Training Manager NITA stated that, “the government now has a structured and certified curriculum that if well implemented will equip the migrant workers with skills that are vital for pre-departure and during their work in the Gulf countries.” She also added that when migrant workers understand their rights, situations of exploitation are reduced if not fully mitigated.
The Deputy Secretary of Administration, Ministry of Labour & Social Protection, Ms. Joyce Mwale in her opening remarks cited that the pre-departure curriculum will be updated frequently due to the changing dynamics of the work environment in countries of destination. She also added that there will be an official launch of the curriculum in the coming weeks.
The Director of NITA, Mr. Stephen Ogenga thanked all the stakeholders who participated in the development of the curriculum that was now available for use and urged them to cascade the knowledge to other trainers in their respective institutions. The Labour Commissioner, Mr. Isaiah Kirigua, emphasized the importance of providing potential migrants with accurate information before departure including contacts of the Kenyan Embassies abroad. He informed the participants on the existence of Labour Attaché in three Middle East countries - United Arab Emirates, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who can be contacted by migrant workers if they are experiencing any challenges.
These trainings are part of IOM’s comprehensive efforts to support the Government of Kenya information campaign to potential labour migrants before they migrate for work in the Gulf States in order to minimize the risk of exploitation and human trafficking. This ToT was supported through the “Promoting Safe and Fair Labour Migration from Kenya to the Gulf States” project that is funded by the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and implemented in partnership with Verite, a labour rights Non-Governmental Organization.