OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPERIENCE

Vihiga assembly passes motion on internship

County government to be compelled to offer students chance to learn skills

In Summary

• Internships would offer college students and recent graduates experience for the job market.

• Some MCAs want the programme to be extended to the private sector. 

Vihiga county assembly in session
UNEMPLOYMENT: Vihiga county assembly in session
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

Vihiga county assembly has passed a motion compelling the county government to offer internships to all students in higher learning institutions in the county.

Central Bunyore MCA Paul Ananda who initiated the motion said the move would ensure recent graduates and those still in college acquire requisite experience for the job market. 

“The county government and the Public Service Board of Vihiga should be compelled to offer attachments and internship programmes to our students freely,” Ananda said.

The motion will now proceed to the governor for assent within 14 days. The governor can either accept it or send it back with a memorandum to the county assembly. 

Supporting the motion, the Leader of Majority Moses Opole said there was a mismatch of expectations between graduates and employers.

“Most of these students when they turn up for a job opportunity they are asked for at least two or three years of experience that they do not have. We know there is no university or college that offers a course known as experience. We need to create one for our students,” Opole said.

Opole said the attachments should go beyond the health sector, as currently happens, to cover other areas. 

 The Leader of Minority Tom Atingo said compelling the county Public Service Board and the executive to offer internships will help them engage with students in the county.

Wodanga ward representative Vincent Atsiaya proposed that the programme be extended to other employers in the county. 

He said Mudete Tea Factory should be made to offer internships and attachment opportunities to students.

“Most of our graduates in this county are hopeless in vinyozi (barber shops) and boda boda,” Atsiaya said.

Busali representative Gladys Analo said the county should keep a database of graduates to ease placement in county jobs. 

“With this policy in place we will be in a position to know who are the experts in the required fields for any job opportunity here in the county,” Analo said.

Analo said this would help avoid a situation in which the county bought fire engines and a CT scan machine but there were no experts to run them.

She said that once the motion is signed by the governor, the MCAS need to follow it up to ensure that is fully implemented. 

Kenyans have recently engaged in a debate on social media on whether interns should or should not be paid. While there has been no consensus, a majority feel they should. 

(Edited by O. Owino)