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UK, Germany attract most Kenyans for jobs

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United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland are among the top three destinations for Kenyans working in the diaspora with the three European nations making it to the list of the top 10 remitting countries into Kenya.

Currently, Europe remains the second most desired region by Kenyans working abroad and is only second to the United States of America, Canada and the Bahamas that lead in matters of remittances to Kenya.

This was revealed by Labour and Skills Development Principal Secretary Shadrach Mwadime while making a presentation to Kenya’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners in European countries during a conference in Vienna, Austria.

“Labour migration and development can be witnessed through increased remittances inflow into the country where $4.19 billion (about Sh543 billion) was remitted in 2023, making diaspora remittances one of Kenya’s highest foreign exchange earner,” Mr Mwadime said.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), diaspora remittances in the year ending December 2023 increased by four percent from the $4.02 billion (Sh527 billion) recorded in a similar period in 2022. This figure is expected to increase in 2024.

Within the European region, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Italy lead in that order, followed by Sweden, France, Norway, Belgium, Austria and others. Remittance from Europe amounted to $85 million (Sh11.1 billion) million in January 2024, the highest since January 2023.

Kenya has implemented the signed bilateral agreement on healthcare professionals with the UK that has facilitated 280 nurses in the UK.

The country has also initiated other draft bilateral labour agreements with other eight targeted countries including Germany, the UK, Austria, Poland, Ireland (Nursing and Midwifery workforce), Israel, Serbia and Russia.

The diplomats at the conference were asked to support the government by identifying and securing employment opportunities for Kenyans in the European market and fast-track finalisation of the draft labour agreements and MoUs.

“We are working on these plans to provide all labour migration services in a centralised place and ease the pre-departure process for outbound migrant workers,” the PS said.

Further, labour migration desks have been set up at major airports to ensure compliance with related procedures.

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