Kuwait warned over Kuwaitization in oil and gas sector

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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As Kuwaitization rolls on, top executives in the emirate’s oil and gas sector are warning about its effect on essential revenue supplies.

Concerns are concentrating on ‘compulsory employment’ plans, stating pressure-driven sackings of expat top talent and its replacement by local graduates without experience will have a negative effect on revenues, projects and budgets. One problem being mentioned is the accreditation of fake university degrees in order to obtain jobs. Sources are stressing accreditation bodies’ endorsement of degrees later approved by oil and gas sector human resources officers, noting concerns that over 5,000 citizens have been employed in the sector since 2014, thus making its Kuwatization rating a massive 89.5 per cent. The sector has been employing many more locals than its potential and budgets allow, with experts also warning that certain technical jobs need staff with exceptional qualifications and experience as only top talent can properly protect the sector’s massive revenues.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s ministry of education has announced it will be recruiting expat teachers from Tunisia, Jordan and Palestine. In a shock-horror announcement, the education ministry is also to limit expat teacher recruitment to a maximum of 500, some 280 teachers less than the vacancies already announced. In addition, the ministry itself will limit its expat-aimed jobs to those in the teaching profession. No details have been given as to the education sectors in which there will be a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced teachers.

In spite of indications to the contrary, Kuwaiti government sources are now stressing the emirate simply can’t get by without its expat community, redefining the Kuwaitization strategy as simply a means to reorganise expat numbers in order to allow newly-qualified local graduates to get jobs. The statement came during a discussion on the plan to charge expats and tourists for compulsory private health insurance. Sources also stated the ‘small number’ of expats who’d left the emirate did so for personal reasons rather than for the impact of high fees and the reality of losing their jobs to Kuwaiti nationals.
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