How Kenyans Landed Jobs On Italian Cruise Ships

An image of MS Westerdam
An image of MS Westerdam leaving Mombasa on Wednesday, August 12.

The government announced a programme that is helping Kenyans secure jobs onboard European cruise ships.

This comes over a year after thousands lost their jobs in the cruise ship industry over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Principal Secretary in the State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Dr Nancy Karigithu announced that over 100 Kenyans attained jobs in the cruise ship business from the programme.

Kenyan youth are being facilitated by the government which is working closely with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to gain employment in Italy and other parts of Europe.

A ship docked at the Port of Mombasa.
A ship docked at the Port of Mombasa.

Following this partnership, 17 Kenyan chefs were able to acquire jobs in the luxurious cruise ship business and others jetted out of the country to work aboard the Mediterranean Shipping Company cruise ship.

"This is an ongoing programme where deserving and qualified Kenyan youth are recruited to join MSC vessels operating worldwide," Dr Karigithu stated.

The government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in 2018 aimed at building a partnership.

However, the industry was affected by Covid-19. An estimated 738,000 Kenyans lost jobs to the COVID-19 pandemic according to fresh data from the 2021 Economic Survey.

The report indicated that employment in 2020 declined by 4.1 per cent to 17.405 million from 18.143 million at the end of 2019.

Jobs in the informal sector were hardest hit at 544,000 compared to 194,000 jobs lost in the formal sector.

Formal jobs were at their lowest since 2017 but informal jobs were the second highest rate in five years at 14.508 million.

The informal sector remained the greatest contributor of jobs in the Kenyan economy representing 83.4 per cent of the total recorded employment by the government in 2020.

Pedestrians walking in a Nairobi street