By Mourice Seretta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday presided over the pass out parade of 7,479 National Youth Service (NYS) recruits at the Gilgil station.
The pass out parade was conducted under strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols with families of recruits not allowed to attend the ceremony.
Of the 7,479 recruits, 5,361 were male while 2,118 were female with 47 being people living with disabilities.
The head of state assured the graduates that the Government will continue securing jobs for them through the institution’s newly unveiled electronic repository system.
The President said the technology enabled tracking and repository system will make it easier for employers from both the public and private sectors to source employees from NYS.
Meanwhile, the President noted that NYS graduates are steadily being absorbed into the Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service and other uniformed services and instructed the institutions to increase the number of recruits they draw from the youth service.
“My Administration is keen on securing job placement opportunities for the youth, both in the public and private sectors.
“In this regard, the NYS has developed a repository system of its graduates’ data, which it maintains and shares with prospective employers,” the President said.
The Head of State spoke when he presided over the passing-out parade of 7,479 NYS recruits at the National Youth Service Training College in Gilgil, Nakuru County where he also unveiled a tracking and reporting system for the institution’s graduates.
The tracking system has inbuilt-security features and categorizes NYS graduates by skills acquired and county of residence among other categories, making it easier for employers to source for skilled labour as may be needed within a specific region.
At the colorful pass-out parade, the President commended NYS for its continued contribution to empowering Kenyan youth with skills and competencies as well as moulding them into better citizens.
“NYS has given young Kenyans the skills and competencies for entrepreneurship and employment; in addition to inculcating the ethos of patriotism, loyalty, integrity, duty, and service to the nation that has made graduands better citizens.
“Additionally, the service and its members serve as an inspiration to both individuals and institutions,” the President said.
At the same time, President Kenyatta applauded NYS for its prominent role in national development through the involvement of its personnel in key projects such as the revival of the railway network, renewal of Kisumu Port and supervision of Kazi Mtaani youth employment initiative.
“In this respect, my Administration has, over the last one year engaged these young patriotic Kenyans in several transformative infrastructure projects. Among these are the rehabilitation of the Nanyuki – Thika, Nakuru – Kisumu and Gilgil – Nyahururu railway lines; and rehabilitation of Kisumu and other ports around Lake Victoria,” the President said.
He pointed out that NYS servicemen and women have also contributed to desert locust control in various counties, enforcement of Covid-19 containment measures and the streamlining of the boda boda sector through a tailored training programme.
The President observed that the reforms the Government has been implementing at NYS for the last two years have started bearing fruit.
“Indeed, I note with pride that since we put in place the NYS Council, there is greater efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability in the operations of the Service.
“Indeed, in this period, NYS decisively moved past the former position that was bedeviled by negative publicity and complaints. I urge you to continue with this good work,” the President advised NYS Board of Management.
At the ceremony also addressed by Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs CS Prof. Margaret Kobia, NYS Director General Matilda Sakwa and College Commandant Ruth Mbuvi, the Head of State awarded outstanding graduands among them Duke Nyamari (best recruit, men) and Cynthia Atieno Siayi (best recruit, women).
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and ICT CS Joe Mucheru were among other senior Government officials at the pass-out parade.