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National Youth Service (NYS) graduates will now be given priority to join the military and other disciplined forces during recruitment exercises.

President William Ruto on Friday said 80 per cent of regular police, Kenya Coast Guard Service, Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and Administration Police recruitment will be absorbed from NYS graduates.

The President announced that this is a decision of Kenya’s National Security Council (NSC) – the nine-member exclusive club that is the country’s top decision-making organ.

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“The NSC has decided that going forward, 80 per cent of all security recruitment will be from NYS. They will form part of KDF, KWS, KFS,” President Ruto said.

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The Head of State spoke in Gilgil Nakuru County, during the passing out of 10,521 NYS graduates.

The National Security Council, which supervises Kenya’s security organs, is chaired by the President with the other members being the Deputy President, Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Attorney General , Inspector General of Police, National Intelligence Service Director, and Cabinet Secretaries in charge of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Internal Security.

The announcement by President Ruto is part of the government’s plan to leverage on NYS which has a strong record in managing youth programmes.

At the same time, the government is finalizing plans to have NYS train Kenyans to go for jobs abroad to boost diaspora remittances. There are job opportunities for Kenyans in Asia and in Europe which the government has begun to solve the problem of youth unemployment in the country.

“We are concluding negotiations with Germany, Saudi Arabia and another eight countries on the export of labour. NYS is going to be the central organisation for pre-deployment training so that Kenyans understand what to do when they go out as export labour. As part of NYS modernisation, it is going to participate in many fields to support civil works, dam desilting and agriculture as they have done it in an exemplary way before,” President Ruto said.

Last week, a task force formed to look into the welfare of police, prisons and NYS recommended a 40 per cent salary increase.

“Beginning next financial year, for three years the NYS salary will be increased by 40 percent. Recognising the place of youth in national transformation in general, and that of the NYS in powering the plan in particular, we have embarked on a strategic re-engineering of the NYS to enhance the capacity of the institution to take up greater numbers of trainees, position it on the path of financial sustainability through revenue generation, thereby creating the conditions to support the expansion of enrolment to 100,000 young people annually,” the President said.

The Head of State also said his administration will allocate Sh7.5 billion from the Sh30 billion negotiated in India earlier in the week to modernise NYS equipment as well as the progressive expansion of NYS trainees recruitment to 100,000 annually beginning next year.

Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Mr Moses Kuria, singled out the state agency’s pillar of commercialisation, which seeks to create a service that is sustainable and does not need exchequer support.

“We promise to present you with a dividend cheque during the 2025 passing-out parade in appreciation for your assistance in kicking off our transformation agenda under the NYS re-engineering programme. We will see to it that the NYS is self-sufficient,” Mr Kuria said.

Additionally, Mr Kuria said the National Employment Authority is partnering with NYS to provide jobs for Kenyan youths abroad.

“As we speak, we have already deployed 40 servicemen and women to the UK for readily available jobs,” Mr Kuria said, adding that the agency is now helping facilitate the employment of its graduates for jobs across the world.

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