Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has announced plans to require all new government employees to have undergone National Youth Service (NYS) training before they can be hired.
Speaking on Wednesday, October 25 during the unveiling of the National Youth Service (NYS) Re-engineering programme at the NYS headquarters in Ruaraka, Nairobi County, Kuria stated that he was keen on ensuring new public sector employees are required to produce an NYS clearance certificate before being considered for employment.
The CS argued that this would ensure public servants are less corrupt and “lethargic” and that the training will help the government track its employees.
“My dream is to make sure before anyone is employed by the government, they have undergone NYS training. So that we can trace back even those ministry employees to the factory where they were created. And that factory is right here in NYS,” stated Kuria.
“I want to ensure that I push this policy and I am going to present a cabinet memo for the Cabinet to approve that any new hires in the public service must first and foremost present NYS certificates."
He added that this would cover recruitment across the disciplined forces including the National Police Service (NPS) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to improve the work ethic of the public service as well as provide opportunities for millions of unemployed youth in Kenya.
It is worth noting that the plans to make NYS training a mandatory requirement while applying for government jobs were featured in recommendations by the Presidential Working Party of Education Reforms (PWPER) which recommended students graduating from university be subjected to mandatory community service training for nine months before entering the job market.
"It is, therefore, needful to re-introduce the Community Service Learning programmes for students upon graduation, to promote peaceful co-existence and cultivate a sense of patriotism, appreciation of diverse cultures and work ethics in our youth," the report released on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 noted.
In a bid to convince university students to undergo the training, the committee recommended that "A certificate of compliance to the community service be issued as proof before admission into the world of work.”
PWPER emphasised community service as a mode of training so as to equip learners with the ability to handle the responsibilities they will encounter in the job market.
Meanwhile, CS Kuria reiterated the mandatory retirement age of civil servants currently set at 60 citing the possibility of exploitation of an extension review for people with disability.
"When one reaches the age of 60, please go home. There are others who, when they reach 58, remember they have disabilities and hence extend their time.
“I am waiting for a report of those people who are misusing our generosity. The President has said very clearly that when one reaches the age of 60, they should go home and stop looking for other reasons,” he stated.
While unveiling his 10-point agenda on Saturday, October 21, the CS revealed that the State plans to modernise public service by replacing older public servants with the youth, while maintaining an 80:20 ratio between technical and support staff.