Lilongwe — Government has brought forward the date for re-admission of interns into the civil service after meeting representatives from the National Executive Committee, a body that represents interns following an outcry from the beneficiaries.

Minister of Labour, Ken Kandodo made the announcement at Capitol Hill in Lilongwe on Friday after reaching a deal with the representatives of the interns’ body.

He said while the internship programme is crucial in preparing new graduates for the work environment, the readmission date was shifted from August to October in order to comply with COVID-19 preventive measures as outlined by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.

“We have agreed that the date now will be 1st September, 2020. The main reason for the postponement from 3rd August to 1st October was to do with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you know the presidential committee on COVID-19 has come up with measures that government offices must comply with such as social distancing. Because of that in most offices you will not find a full complement of officers,” he said.

On the issue of permanent employment for the interns the minister contended that while the issue will be presented to Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) for further consideration, public employment laws bar recruitment of officers without following due process.

Kandodo then advised the interns to apply for job openings as they come in the civil service so that they may compete for such job opportunities with others as public employment laws prescribe.