Kuwatization to axe thousands of expat private sector jobs

Published:  18 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UAE, Money, Jobs, Study Abroad
Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission is planning to freeze thousands of expat contracts by 1 July.

Kuwatization is taking a new turn as the emirate’s Civil Service Commission is planning to freeze over three thousand expat contracts and shelve them at the beginning of July this year. The move, a significant part of Kuwaitization, is intended to open up formerly expat jobs to Kuwaiti nationals, thus reducing the totals of foreigners working in the emirate. At the present time, the expatriate population makes up 70 per cent of the state’s 4.5 million population.

During 2017, Kuwait’s Public Services Commission ordered all government sectors to submit plans to replace expatriate labour with Kuwaiti nationals, a move which has resulted in job vacancies in 2018 totalling over 4,000. Adding on the 3,108 vacancies created in July by the new order, employment opportunities for Emiratis will stand at well over 7,000.

One issue which may cause problems is that few Kuwaitis want to work in the private sector, preferring public sector positions with longer holidays, shorter working hours and more pay. Government statistics show over half of Kuwaitis actually refuse private sector jobs, with the 345,100 working in the public sector representing 76 per cent of the total labour force.

Meanwhile, a new report has revealed just under half of expats resident in the UAE are losing confidence in their financial health, although they still believe their prospects are better than in most other countries, with only 24 per cent considering leaving the UAE should financial worries escalate. According to a study, job security is the biggest worry, with increases in the cost of living also causing concern. At present, rather than saving or sending remittances home, many expats are concentrating on paying off debts and fewer are expecting an increase in salary over 2018.

However, expats’ worst fears about the introduction of VAT haven’t been realised, with only 12 per cent saying they’re struggling to make ends meet as a result and some 30 per cent reporting they’ve hardly noticed the resulting price increases. Expatriate rental costs haven’t fallen over the past year, with 12 per cent planning to downsize to save money. The result is that expat residents are sending less money back to their home countries than during 2017, and over half are saving less than in previous years.
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