Kenyan migrant workers in the domestic sector will now have to undergo enhanced trainings in Homecare Management courses to enable them cope with anticipated challenges in the new work environment in the host countries.
The initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry of Labour is part of the reforms aimed at promoting safe, fair land productive labour migration from Kenya to the Gulf States.
The National Employment Authority (NEA) Director General Edith Okoki indicated that the training course units has been adjusted to cover a total of 200 hours, with 40 hours being attachment period.
She noted that culture shock in regards to religion, dressing and male and female interactions, language barriers and lack of knowledge on how to use house appliances are some of the challenges being experienced by workers.
“The Curriculum on Homecare aims at acquainting the workers to envisaged challenges in the new environment in the host country. We want to ensure that migrant workers migrate in an orderly, safe and dignified manner,” she said.
To ascertain quality, training providers will undertake internal assessment while external assessment and certification will be conducted by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).
Training institutions will have to adhere to guidelines relating to admission, training and accommodation facilities, teacher trainee ratio, qualifications of the trainers and keeping of records.
The minimum entry requirement age for the trainee is 18 years or as determined by employment regulations as per Ministry of Labour and Social Protection or NEA regulations. However special arrangement will be put in place to assess those who are already employed but lack the minimum educational requirements.
The syllabus jointly developed by NEA, NITA and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) aims at creating a qualified, productive, healthy workforce with practical knowledge and skills in homecare management.
The Curriculum packaged in five stand-alone units will focus on five areas namely Homecare, Life Skills and Pre-departure training while two advanced course units namely Childcare and Homecare nursing will be optional.
“Lack of pre-departure training affects the productivity of unskilled and semi-skilled workers and often leads to absconding of duty and subsequent premature termination of employment contracts,” she said.
The curriculum was launched in September 2018 while the training commenced in March 2019.
About 67,000 prospective migrant workers have been trained in the piloting phase which ended in March 2020. More than 40,000 of those trained have already secured employment abroad.
Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has indicated that diaspora remittances is now Kenya’s leading source of forex, ahead of tourism and agricultural exports such as tea, coffee and horticulture.
In Saudi Arabia alone, Ms Okoki noted that 43,000 domestic workers recruited between March 2019 and March 2020 fetch the country Ksh1 billion in monthly earnings.
“If all the money is remitted, it will constitute 0.35 per cent of total remittances,” she said.