Kuwaiti oil minister defends expat professionals as the only option

Published:  11 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, Jobs
Attempts to make problems for Kuwait’s oil minister should he fail to apply Kuwaitization to the oil and gas sector are now on hold.

Kuwaiti lawmakers have been threatening the emirate’s oil, electricity and water minister Khaled al Fadhel with grilling should he fail to replace expat professionals with their Kuwaiti equivalents. For a while, parliamentary demands have concentrated on the replacement of expat professionals holding technical jobs with qualified and experienced Kuwaiti nationals. Unfortunately, there seem not to be any Kuwaiti nationals with the qualifications and experience necessary to take over from expats who’ve been working in the industry for years.

In addition, job vacancy advertisements are placed when there is a need for a replacement, and sources are reporting lawmakers are being seen as interfering in purely technical issues about which they know little and understand even less. The oil company application processes involve testing all applicants, including Kuwaiti nationals, and inevitably result in the hiring of expat specialists with relevant experience. Letting go of expatriate professionals isn’t an option when there are no experienced Kuwaitis to take over their jobs.

Meanwhile in the Kuwaiti parliament, Saafa al Hashem’s continuing insults of expatriates was interrupted by prominent lawmaker Adnan Abdulsamad’s coming out in expats’ favour by rejecting a campaign targeting foreign workers. Abdulsamad insisted the expat presence in the emirate existed because Kuwaiti companies employed them to benefit the country. Some jobs, he added, could only be done by qualified expatriates who should be respected for the help they're giving to the emirate and its economy. For several years, al Hashem has been attacking Kuwait’s expat community, now at around 3 million as against some 1.4 million citizens.
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