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During a recent interview with the Al-Rai newspaper the President of the Kuwaiti Society of Engineers, Faisal Al-Atl, has raised very important and dangerous issues, saying the numbers clearly show the tragedy that we are living through on more than one level.
He says that the number of engineering graduates annually is 3,000, but the actual need for them in the private and government sectors does not exceed 1,000 and that there is a complete absence with regard to engineering outputs and market requirements, and the situation is surrounded by complete chaos!
He said that the KSE has prepared a list that includes the names of 13,000 expatriate engineers who did not pass the professional tests carried out by the association in cooperation with the Kuwait University, and that the KSE addressed the Public Authority for Manpower and the Ministry of Interior to cancel their work permits or amend their professions, so that no one suffers because of them, the withdrawal of the driving licenses they obtained by virtue of their specialization, but no government agency has agreed to respond to their alarming warnings, and some of them may currently be implementing or supervising large projects.
He stated that the society has submitted a proposal to PAM to amend the Kuwaitization law in the private sector, so that the percentage of Kuwaitis should not be less than 30% instead of not exceeding 30 percent.
We do not agree with on this particular point, as part of the ruin of the government administration lies in imposing such percentages without adequate coordination and training, and the private sector complains sharply of random Kuwaitization, and no one pays attention to their point of view.
The President of the Society of Engineers also opposed the increase in the number of public benefit associations, from 24 societies 20 years ago to 100 at the moment, under the pretext that some of these societies have political goals that may weaken the power of civil society in the face of corruption! This is a strange saying, as public benefit associations are governed by laws that prevent them from working in politics, and holding them accountable is the responsibility of the government.
Eng Al-Atl stated that the number of Kuwaiti engineers in the private sector does not exceed a thousand. As for the KES, their number is currently about 20,000 Kuwaiti engineers, and there are 40,000 non-Kuwaiti engineers, and the membership of about 13,000 of them was suspended for not meeting the membership requirements or for not passing the professional tests to obtain membership.
These are big numbers, so where do all these people work? There is no doubt that a large percentage of them are without work. He also did not mention the percentage or number of Kuwaiti engineers who did not pass the exams, and the reason is that the society does not test Kuwaitis, but rather leaves that to other parties, especially since it was mentioned that the association did not dismiss any Kuwaiti member from the association unless a judgment was issued that violates the honor and trust against him!
He said that the society supports the employment of Kuwaiti engineers, and it currently has an initiative to prepare and train about 200 engineers for the benefit of the Ministry of Awqaf.
On a question about the extent of the ability of the Kuwaiti engineer to manage jobs and projects in the country, he said that they have the ability to take over all projects, and even their willingness to sacrifice, and the biggest example of this is what we witnessed during the maintenance process of the electricity and water stations and it has a training center that relies on the best contemporary international programs for engineering professional development, and the association also contributes to supporting the presence of colleagues in the largest international engineering conferences to see developments.
He said that the Ministry of Works did not ask for the society’s technical opinion on the road problem, perhaps because they do not like its impartiality.
He said that there are 1,700 mosques in the country, and it is possible to provide them with smart systems to save electricity and water, and the experiment was applied in 4 mosques, each of which cost us 200 dinars, and we achieved a saving of about 60% of electricity and water. However, the Ministry of Awqaf did not implement any of our recommendations. This is a topic we have already touched upon.
The interview is important, painful and dangerous, and it shows the extent of the chaos we live in, with our will and our incomprehensible stubbornness!
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By Ahmad alsarraf