Low education levels has forced Tana River County to hire non-locals for skilled jobs, according to governor Dhadho Godhana.
The county chief said that his administration is facing a dilemma due to a local shortage of skilled manpower, forcing it to employ outsiders. He said that, while the county would have liked to hire more locals, there was just not enough of them with the requisite academic qualifications and know-how to deliver.
"We have tried to prioritise local applicants for employment opportunities but, surprisingly, our people have no requisite qualifications," he said while speaking at a funeral service at the Kenya Methodist Church in Hola on Tuesday.
Mr Godhana said a recent vacancy advertisement saw many local applicants gunning for the positions but most of them still fell far below the expected academic thresholds.
The governor also noted that most of the youth in the county were seeking employment as county askaris, due to a lack of academic papers.
"We have to build the future of our county by hiring people who understand the weight of the responsibility they are going to handle, but we are in a dilemma because we don't have them, we may have to contract people from outside, "he said.
He said the county has gone as far as prioritising local talent for various vacancies by advertising fewer openings than were actually required, an attempt that has failed since most do not meet anything closer to the required threshold.
He recounted how the previous administration also suffered the same problem, forcing it to hire unskilled personnel, hence the many mistakes and cases of misappropriation of funds.
LACK OF PROGRESS
"This is the same challenge that saw the previous administration hire people who were not skilled hence the lack of progress. We cannot walk the same path, we desire better," he said. He urged residents to seek educational opportunities in order to build local human resource capacity and be able to claim such positions in future.
With 56 per cent of its population lacking formal education, Tana River County has been placed at a disadvantage compared to neighbouring counties.
Professionals in the county have since planned a meeting to deliberate on how to build local capacity and expand the talent pool.