Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo has said university graduates undergoing internship programmes in government ministries and departments will resume work in September this year, a shift from October as earlier planned.
Kandodo Friday said the initial plan to re-admit the interns in October 2020 was due to Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected operations of the civil service.
But following a meeting he had with representatives of a committee for the interns, the two parties have agreed to recall the interns earlier to address some of the challenges they are facing.
“There was a feeling that perhaps even if they go back to work there will be nobody to train them. So we decided to give it two months because we believed business would be back to normal. When we got the complaints we said ok, let us reach a compromise, so they have accepted,” he said.
Regarding permanent recruitment of the interns, Kandodo said employment laws need to be followed and that the Civil Service Commission recruits based on availability of resources.
“While we understand their reasoning, it is not possible for the government to assure every intern that they will get the job. Our employment laws tell us that there has to be equity, meaning that interviews have to be advertised,” he said.
He also assured of frequent monitoring of the programme, to ensure that only active interns get paid.
President of the executive committee of the group, Gerald Masebo, said they were happy that their concerns have been addressed.
He, however, said they are looking forward to government’s consideration to possibly raise their allowances from K80, 000 to K150, 000 due to the rise in cost of living.
The graduates had last week threatened to demonstrate on Friday, August 7, 2020 against the decision by the government to suspend the programme.