The wheel of reforming the country’s demographics file is moving again after a hiatus of about two and a half years disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which hindered the resolution of many important files, including the file of “modifying the composition”, which was assigned to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Strengthening Integrity Jamal Al-Jalawi to complete the work based on a decision of the Prime Minister.
The starting point in opening the file to complete the requirements of resolving its problems was in reviving the project to attract skilled foreign workers, as the Public Authority for Manpower held coordination meetings with the concerned authorities, which is to tests the new expatriate workers in two stages before they arrive into the country.
Responsible sources told a local Arabic daily that PAM has launched a series of meetings with relevant government agencies, to set a path for implementing the plans prepared to modify the demographic structure, which will be in two steps, the first targeting new workers coming to the country, and the second linked to those in the labor market.
The sources stated that among the parties that will work to implement the new plan regarding amending the composition, besides the authority, are Kuwait University, the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior, in addition to the oil sector, as well as looking into the future of partnerships with associations of public interest.
The sources pointed to agreements that were presented earlier and are ready to be signed, regarding the start of applying professional tests to newcomers to the country, especially those related to their work in the engineering, accounting and petroleum sectors, stressing that the final signing of them between Kuwait and other countries is on the implementation table soon.
The sources indicated that the agreements will start from Egypt and India, given the readiness in the two countries, in terms of the availability of accredited training centers, and parties capable of implementing the Kuwaiti initiative to ensure access to the experiences and certificates of the worker and be tested before obtaining a work permit and arriving in Kuwait.
The sources stated that the first executive steps will take place in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kuwaiti consulates abroad, and include holding a series of professional tests in designated buildings or in cooperation with accredited training and education centers, which will be determined by the responsible authorities, such as “Kuwait University and the PAAET”, so that the test result will be key to issuing a work permit to Kuwait.
The sources said that the cooperation of the “manpower” with both the university and the PAAET will be of assistance in the future to prevent the phenomenon of labor transfer from one profession to another, and to regulate the labor market.
The sources pointed out that the application of the tests in cooperation between the university, the PAAET and the Kuwait Society of Engineers will be carried out through the Professions Center, and aims to audit 71 support professions in the engineering and oil sectors, in partnership with the Ministry of Oil and companies working in the field, especially that there are about 9,000 expatriates working in this sector.
The sources pointed out that the 2021-2022 development plan had stipulated that one of its policy clauses, within the component of enhancing the capabilities of citizens and institutions, aims to establish a smart system for accepting foreign labor to attract highly skilled, and screen the market from marginal and untrained labor, for the benefit of the the labor market and the private sector in particular, pointing out that the same step was applied in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Regarding the developments of the demographic structure in the country, statistical reports issued by the Labor Market System and the Public Authority for Civil Information revealed that 57% of the Kuwaiti population is employed in the labor market.
Reports stated that 29.2% of the total citizens are in the labor market, while there are 1.53 million citizens outside the labor force, whether they are the elderly, housewives and children.
With regard to residents in the country, only 9% are from families divided into “children, housewives, the elderly”, with a total of approximately 399,000 individuals, corresponding to two million and 63 thousand in the labor market.
The number of residents witnessed a decrease, compared to the number registered for them over the past five years, as their numbers reached 2.897 million residents out of 4.385 million people in the country.
According to reports, there are 5 nationalities that control 46.6% of opportunities in the labor market, led by India, then Egypt, Kuwait, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Of the total population, Kuwait advanced to become the first with more than 1.5 million people, followed by India with 863,000, then Egypt with 611,000, Bangladesh with 250 thousand, and the Philippines with 237,000.
Domestic workers and workers in restaurants and services represent the largest proportion of residents in the country’s labor market, with a rate of approximately 66% of the total employment in the country, including 30% domestic workers, and 36% in accommodation and food services.
The 5 dominant nationalities working in Kuwait are:
► 726,337 Indians
► 445,691 Egyptians
► 434,825 Kuwaitis
► 234,989 Bangladeshis
► 204,434 Filipinos