Complex Made Simple

Expats in Kuwait facing the worst as Kuwaitization keeping foreigners jobless

Hasn’t Kuwait learned from both Saudization (Nitaqat) and Emiratization, that forcing the issues of employment on the private and public sectors just doesn’t work?

It looks like it hasn’t.

What’s the newest law that will keep expats, those with job experience and looking to add value to the gulf country, out?

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If you’re young, you’re banned

While understandable that Kuwait wants its youth to find job opportunities, banning expats under 30 years of age to come in to Kuwait is not the way to do it.

Yet, that’s what is happening.

Banning expats under the age of 30 holding diplomas and higher degrees will come into effect in July, according to sources at the Manpower Public Authority (PAM), telling Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida who reported on this Monday.

For non-graduates, that rule doesn’t apply.

The authority has no issues as well for experienced and well educated expats over 30 to work in Kuwait, but asked the private sector to employ Kuwaiti nationals and create jobs opportunities for young people, especially university graduates.

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Can expats be replaced?

Kuwait’s President of the Civil Services Commission Ahmad Jassar Kuwait said there aren’t enough qualified Kuwaitis to replace all the expatriates working in the public sector, as quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai.

Some 78,300 foreigners, or around 75% of all expats employed in the public sector work mainly in the education and health ministries, according to Jassar.

“Kuwaitisation”, aims at employing Kuwaiti nationals in public and private sector jobs.

In September, the commission said it created 17,936 vacancies for Kuwaiti nationals in the public sector to deal with applications from 22,000 Kuwaitis who had signed up for recruitment.

More than half of Kuwaitis, as do Saudis, prefer working in the public sector, and recent stats show 345,000 Kuwaitis work for the government, or nearly 77% of the total Kuwaiti labour force.

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Are Kuwait expats being discriminated against?

Kuwait’s population is 4,5 million people and the vast majority of people there, 3.1 million, are non-Kuwaitis.

Kuwaitis are only one-third of the population.

“Kuwaitis complained about unemployment among citizens, waste of public funds, and preference over Kuwaitis,” reported Arab Times.

These complaints are not born in the domestic sectors which employs 672,000 individuals out of 2.2 million non-Kuwaiti workers in many vital economic sectors in the country, the most important of which are real estate market, banks, telecommunications, automobiles and private education.

Read: Draft bill fines and imprisons Kuwaiti expats who fail to pay remittance tax

Kuwait Times reported the Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) as demanding an end to administrative deportation, to avoid taxing expats’ remittances and stop discrimination against foreigners living in Kuwait.

The Unit of Monitoring and Following-up Worker Rights’ Issues in Kuwait has issued a report about the activation of administrative innovations that protect the status of workers in their workplaces, control the labor market, and oblige employers to implement the provisions of the Labor Law, in addition to postponing the decision that prevents the employment of workers under 30 years old.