The Government is in the process of reforming its social protection and social security system to expand avenues to cover both the employed and unemployed
Amb. Raychelle Omamo, Acting Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services said in Geneva last week that the Government initiative is in response to the emerging dynamics in the workplace.
“We concur that due to changes that have taken place in the World of Work, the traditional forms of work as we know it – full time jobs – will sooner or later be a thing of the past, with flexible forms of work including subcontracting and non-standard forms of arrangements, becoming the norm,” said Ms Omamo.
The Cabinet Secretary explained that the world of work both in developing and developed countries has been interrupted by globalisation and technological changes. “Under such circumstances, reflections on the future of work must include an evaluation of the implications of these changes for social justice and in particular how our social protection systems will respond to them,” she said.
CS Omamo’s remarks were contained in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Stephen Karau, Kenya ambassador and permanent representative to Geneva during the plenary discussion of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder report at the 104th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ms Omamo stated that the Government operates several forms of social assistance programmes including cash transfer to orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly, to persons with severe disabilities and on urban food subsidy programmes.
For example , in the current financial year, Government allocated the cash transfer for orphans and vulnerable children Ksh7.4 billion, older persons (Ksh5.9 billion), while persons with severe disabilities were allocated Ksh770 million.
Arising out of the current challenges of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty, Ms Omamo explained that the Government has reoriented its economic policy to focus on implementation of public infrastructure projects and programmes with job-rich outcomes in energy, road, railway construction and agricultural sectors.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) construction is already on-going and at its peak, it’s expected to create more than 30,000 jobs. Others projects are the Lamu South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), the one million acre Galana/Kulalu Irrigation Project, and the tarmacking of 10,000km of road network under the annuity programme.
“Through these programmes, it is expected that youth unemployment will be greatly reduce not to mention the generation of income and therefore aggregate demand to spur economic growth,” she added.