A saturated public sector that can no longer absorb the hundreds of nationals seeking government jobs each year and already eats into three-quarters of the government’s annual budget expenditure has increasingly become unsustainable. In a bid to ease pressure on the budget and encourage young nationals to seek employment away from government jobs, the Council of Ministers is reportedly working on a program that motivates employers in the private sector to employ national workers, including young graduates, retrenched workers, and other citizens seeking jobs.
The number of Kuwaitis working in the private sector is currently around 75,000, most of whom work in sectors such as banks, finance, investment companies, communications and information technology.
The government plan which seeks to incentivize the private sector to hire around 23,000 citizens annually so as to reach its goal of providing jobs to over 100,000 citizens over a four to five year period.
Some of the steps being envisaged by the government include:
- Conducting a study on the incentive schemes implemented by other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as other leading developed countries, to encourage private sector companies to hire nationals. Identifying high-priority jobs to attract national labor in three stages over a staggered period, so that each stage is studied separately, then its data is analyzed and, if needed, a remedial study is built on its impact.
- Targeted incentive plans, including eligibility criteria, policies and processes, and aligning them with the efforts of the Public Authority of Manpower to increase the percentage of national employment in the private sector. Evaluating the impact of potential incentive plans on the government’s financial resources and budgets in the future.
- Defining and implementing a training program and refining skills to equip citizens to take up jobs in the private sector
- Designing a strategy and policy to close the salary gap between public and private sectors and between expatriate and national workers.