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Public bodies move to lay off expat workers – Measures seek to boost Kuwaitization, cut expenses

KUWAIT: Various ministries and government bodies have started taking measures towards reducing the number of expat employees in order to provide more job opportunities for Kuwaitis and cut expenses in the state’s budget. The measures are also meant to handle demographic imbalances that have so far resulted in limiting national manpower in the local market to less than 25 percent.

In this regard, the education ministry has made a list of 450 expat teachers the ministry no longer needs pending terminating their contracts by the next school year. But Al-Qabas newspaper, quoting educational sources, said Education Minister Bader Al-Essa refused to sign the decision to terminate the teachers and instead postponed the issue until next year, bearing in mind that new schools will open soon. Meanwhile, the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) has decided not to accept expat students in its various colleges from the next academic year because those colleges’ capacity is only enough for Kuwaitis.

Municipality Director Ahmed Al-Manfouhi has also decided to lay off 400 expat employees with the aim of cutting expenses. Notably, the ministry of social affairs and labor has banned recruiting any expat without direct approval from Minister Hind Al-Subaih. The ministry has also decided to lay off a number of expat employees working on a ‘pay for work’ basis.

The ministry of communication, which has the least numbers of expat employees, is assessing the performance of some of them to be laid off and substituted by Kuwaitis. Kuwait Petroleum Corp has also instructed its subsidiary companies to sack expat secretaries working in the oil sector and make the ones needed to work through contractors. KPC has informed all CEOs to notify expat secretaries and make them choose between working through contractors or termination.

By A Saleh

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