Kuwait March 2: Oil-rich Kuwait, a prime destination for Indian job seekers in the lucrative Gulf, may end recruitment of foreigners in an effort to boost local employment, a media report has said.
According to Arabic daily Al Jareeda, Kuwait has been hit by the highest level of unemployment figures in decades and it may be forced to stop recruiting outsiders in its public sector.
Kuwait, like the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, has been recently pushing for replacing expatriate workers in several sectors.
Besides Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar are other members of the GCC.
Faced with a steadily ominous rise in unemployment among their citizens and wary of social and security issues related to the presence of millions of foreigners on their soil, the Gulf nations are gradually adopting new legislation and taking measures to limit the number of expatriates.
Last month, a report from Kuwait’s parliamentary information and research committee called for changes to public sector employment legislation and suggested that around 60,000 expatriates working in the public sector could be replaced by Kuwaiti nationals.
According to the report, the Kuwaiti government would henceforth hire only expatriates with rare skills and would remain committed to its new policy to replace foreigners at a rate of 10 per cent annually.
In the private sector, the government has decided to train at least 3,000 Kuwaitis who will replace foreign workers mainly in sectors of management, information and communication.
The parliamentary committee’s report warned that the number of unemployed Kuwaitis had risen to 5.9 per cent of the Kuwaiti population, a total of 20,000 people.
The number is set to increase due to the large youth population amid statistics that indicate that 50 per cent of Kuwaitis are under the age of 19.
The committee said that an average of 27,000 Kuwaitis enter the country’s labour market annually, Kuwait Times daily reported.
Foreigners make up 69 per cent of Kuwait’s total population of 3.4 million people.
Courtesy- Deccan Herald