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Kuwait to stop hiring foreigners in public sector

The governmnet is keen to offer greater employment opportunities to Kuwaitis

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Manama: Kuwait's government is reported to announce an end to the recruitment of foreigners in the public sector, a local paper said.

The move is attributed to a keenness to control expenditures and to offer greater employment opportunities to Kuwaitis wishing to join the government sector, Al Jareeda daily said on Monday.

Kuwait, like the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, has been recently pushing for replacing expatriates in several sectors.

Faced with a steadily ominous increase of unemployment among their young citizens and wary of social and security issues related to the presence of millions of foreigners on their soil, the Arabian Gulf countries 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 Al Jareeda report, the Kuwaiti government would henceforth hire only expatriates with rare specialties 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 foreigners working 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 percent 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 percent 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.