On the 22nd of October 2021, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) in conjunction with the International Labour Organization (ILO) held the inaugural, Master Crafts Persons Awards Ceremony (MCP Awards) at Movenpick Hotel, Nairobi. The ceremony was held to recognize Master Crafts Persons (MCPs) from three counties, that is Busia, Kilifi and Kitui respectively.
The MCP Awards Ceremony is drawn from the implementation of the Better Utilization of Skills for Youth project through quality apprenticeship (BUSY project), in the counties. The BUSY project aims to improve the quality of existing public and private programs that provide vulnerable and marginalized youth with prerequisite skills to enter workplace-based programs in Kenya.
The assessment of the MCPs was only done in the three counties; Busia, Kilifi and Kitui, where the BUSY project was implemented. A total of 223 participants were assessed and 30 were shortlisted. Out of the 30, a total of nine emerged as the winners, three from each county.
The assessment revolved around six key areas namely;
- Innovations & Productivity
- Inclusivity & Diversity
- Human Resources Practices & Employee Relations
- Workplace Environment
- Learning & Development
- Responsible Business Conduct
The event was graced by guests from various organizations in various capacities; we were honoured to have our own Executive Director & CEO Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo,FKE; National President Mr. Habil Olaka; 2nd National Vice President Mr. Michael Macharia; the Immediate Past President Mr. Mark Joseph; Chief Technical Advisor of ILO East Africa Ms. Caroline Njuki and the Ag. Labour Commissioner Ms. Hellen Apiyo amongst others.
As various people addressed the attendees, it was without doubt that indeed the informal sector is yet to be celebrated as it should be. During the event, the informal sector enterprises were celebrated for their excellence and encouraged to pass on their knowledge to the youth. They were applauded for their contribution to the country’s economy.
“…Master Crafts Persons are skilled persons and own and operate enterprises that provide skilling opportunities to vulnerable and marginalized youth in our country. These enterprises are commonly referred to as informal or Juakali but provide 80%of employment opportunities in Kenya…” addressed, Ms. Caroline Njuki.
It was noted that there is a need to create more platforms to recognize and honour the Juakali sector. More organizations were urged to partner with FKE to give these persons the tools they need to improve their competency and increase their productivity. Through such partnerships, it would be possible to host exchange programs where MCPs will be able to come together and learn from each other. The Ag Labour Commissioner Ms Hellen noted that the Ministry of Labour will continue to support such initiatives.
“…recognizing the effort, the micro businesses are making and providing them with support is the way to go. It will not only encourage the micro businesses to adopt decent work practices but enhance their productivity and growth.” Stated Mr. Habil Olaka
Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo noted that the Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) has added a category for the informal sector and urged the MCPs to enrol as participants. We hope to host a nationwide Master Crafts Persons Awards, in the future.
“No work is insignificant. All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Martin Luther King Jr.