Job seekers in Kenya could soon be required to have a university degree as the basic qualification before they can be considered for employment. Head of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Antony Kilele said Thursday Kenya is going the way of India and other fast developing countries where there is a larger number of graduates than there are jobs available. The requirement for a degree stems from the increase in the number of graduates coupled with the added number of universities and constituent colleges over the past few years. Mr Kilele spoke as the Labour Ministry and the bureau launched a survey on Kenyas manpower, which is expected to find out the required skills and what changes are needed in institutions of higher learning. The beauty of this is that there is a mismatch between the skills available in the job market and what the industry needs. With this survey, we hope we shall be able to correct that, said Mr Kilele after the meeting held at the Laico Regency Hotel. Mismatch A mismatch in the labour market also means that people would also end up in jobs they do not like or are not trained for as there no others available. The survey would also determine what changes need to be implemented in training programmes at institutions of higher learning in order to meet the needs of the job market. Mr Kilele said the pilot survey will involve 40 teams of 90 data collectors, who will be fanning out into the 16 districts that have been selected for the initial study. They will collect information from households, industries, institutions of higher learning and from the jua kali or informal sector. He said about Sh20 million would be spent on the research, which should go on over 25 days, and this would be used to fuel vehicles, pay allowances and cater for other logistical costs. The results of the pilot survey will determine how the larger national survey will be carried out later this year and Mr Kilele said Sh150 million would be required for this bigger project. Respondents will be asked about their level of education and training, level of employment and whether they are in the jobs they were trained for. Database Labour assistant minister Sospeter Ojaamong said the surveys findings would also be used to establish a National Skills Inventory, a database of Kenyas workers and their qualifications. It is expected that the inventory will also help the country to determine the trends in supply of skills, skill needs by industry, skill gaps and identification and profiling of Kenyans in the Diaspora, he said. The results of the survey are expected to be ready by August and these together with the results of the national census will influence the course of the planned national survey. I think if/when implemented, this will cause flooding of unskilled workers to the other East African countries which can easily cause conflicts. Is Kenya ready for this or we are putting the horse before the cart?