Not Kuwaiti, not hired
Kuwait plans to stop recruiting non-nationals in the public sector, and will replace existing expat staff.
March 1, 2010 2:42 by kippreport
Kuwait’s government is reportedly planning to stop hiring foreigners in the public sector, says Gulf News, quoting the Al Jareeda newspaper. The idea is to curtail expenditure and offer more employment opportunities to Kuwaitis wishing to join the government sector. Under the plans, the government will only hire expats with “rare specialties”, and will replace foreign public sector staff with nationals at a rate of 10 percent every year, said the report.
In February, a report by Kuwait’s parliamentary information and research committee suggested that around 60,000 expatriates working in the public sector could be replaced by Kuwaiti nationals, reported Kuwait Times. The report said that the unemployment rate among the Kuwaiti citizens stood at 5.9 percent of the local population, a total of 20,000 people. It also said that this number was expected to increase due to the large youth population.
With all the Gulf States struggling to balance their populations, and find work for their citizens, the move comes as no surprise. In fact, Kipp doubts too many expatriates ever came to the region with the hopes or plans of having a cushy public sector job.
So in a sense, it does seem justified that a country takes steps to offer better employment prospects to its national population. And since it can’t impose too much regulation on the private sector – though quotas do exist – the government will obviously turn to the public sector.
But while a ban of recruiting expatriates seems fair enough, replacing foreigners who are already working in the public sector does seem unfair. It’s basically telling someone, ‘you are fired for not being a Kuwaiti’. How can a government defend such a move, especially if an individual has worked hard in their job?