Cotu has criticised the government for “hiding under internship vacancies” instead of employing graduates.
In a statement on Monday, Secretary General Francis Atwoli said inappropriate methods introduced by the government were worrying.
“The internship programme for graduates has a negative effect on the public sector hiring systems and will spill into the private sector,” Atwoli warned.
“If the government wishes to employ graduates, it should not hide under titles such as internship. This is mere contracting of civil servants that is against the principles of employment outlined in the Labour Relations Act, 2007, Employment Act, 2007 and other laws.”
Atwoli claimed the negative effects were being felt at the Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) and the Teachers Service Commission.
KYEOP recently advertised a paid internship lasting 12 to 18 months.
The unionist said the TSC’s conditions are stringent and that the implication on wages and contracts has been seriously ignored.
“The terms and conditions of employment under all these programmes are not well stipulated,” he said.
“Despite giving opportunities to fresh graduates there is no guarantee of employment after completion of internship programmes.”
Atwoli termed the internship programme a new form of contracting that is unacceptable and cruel to graduates.
He demanded that the government stop applying double standards when it comes to the employment of civil servants.
He also wants immediate action by the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs; National Industrial Training Authority; National Employment Authority and other authorities “to avert the employment crisis that the public service is going to face in future”.