Public Authority for Manpower deadlines end to expatriate hiring of ‘under-30’ college grads

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 21: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) set July 1, 2018 as the date for implementing the decision to stop the recruitment of expatriates who hold university certificates and are below 30 years old, reports Al-Rai daily.

The decision was supposed to be implemented at the beginning of this year but Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh requested for postponement in order study the technical aspect thoroughly.

In a press statement, Deputy Director General of the Planning and Professional Skills Accreditation Sector at PAM Dr Mubarak Al-Azmi confirmed that the authority will apply the decision on July 1, 2018. He clarified it is better to review the decision carefully rather than implementing it immediately only to suspend it later, especially since it is included in the electronic system.

Talking about the work of the sector, Al-Azmi said the authority is now working on the tests to determine the abilities and skills of job applicants before recruiting them, as well as to protect the interests of Kuwait and rights of expatriate workers. He affirmed the authority intends to deal with renowned global companies specialize in making such tests.

He said the authority has coordinated with Kuwait Engineers Society to conduct professional tests for newly recruited expatriate engineers and for re-testing of expatriate engineers who are already working in the country. He added the authority conducts professional skills tests for teachers and employees in special education schools (special needs), as well as prepare private education curricula to ensure that the outputs match the actual manpower needs of the local market.

He went on to reveal that the authority set functional standards for more than 100 jobs for prior testing of job applicants in accordance with international functional standards. On the alleged amendment of the Labor Law to grant special health insurance for workers in the governmental sector, Al-Azmi clarified no such proposal has been presented so far; particularly since the health insurance system for expatriates has been activated.

Asked if the authority will impose amendments to employment contracts in line with the placement conditions and terms of recruitment or to stop the recruitment of unprofessional workers with low skills, Al-Azmi cited the ‘pacta sunt servanda’ – a Latin phrase that means agreements must be kept. He pointed out that both the employee and employer are allowed to put certain terms to protect the rights of each party and the interests of the public.

He added, “With regard to the nature of life in the country, this is not part of our functions as it is the responsibility of the governments of countries which send laborers abroad and their embassies. Initially, the embassies must determine if the skills of laborers who will be deployed match the manpower needs of the local labor market; in addition to the cost of living and maximum standards of living in the countries where they send workers.”

He also stressed the need to educate the expatriate employees on the culture, laws and cost of living in the countries where they will work. He asserted a skilled worker will meet the employment conditions based on his skills and he will enjoy better privileges. He added copies of the Labor Law in Kuwait are available in all international assemblies.

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