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According to the Arab Times “the Interior Ministry has conducted an extensive study on replacing expatriate employees with citizens (Kuwaitization) in some of its departments, especially in traffic and immigration departments, for security reasons, says an official source from the ministry. According to the source, the Kuwaitization move came after widespread incidents of forgery and manipulations by non-Kuwaiti employees in vital departments” (Arab Times Nov 1, 2015). Achieving a full Kuwaitization of the national labor force will gradually become a necessary step in a changing world.
Every country around the world aspires to achieve national self-sufficiency and independence in its most important sectors (Health Services- Education- Security…etc). However, in order to achieve a successful Kuwatization in our administrative and technical sectors, the government needs to start promoting values of productivity, work ethics, commitment and hard work.
Such productivity goals however cannot be achieved while most manual and technical works continue to be occupied by expatriates.
In other words, the government needs to establish a process of Kuwaitization followed by consistent efforts to promote the culture of productivity and selfreliance among Kuwaitis. There will come a day when we as Kuwaitis need to attain full independence in our industrial sector, labor force and in all other essential occupations.
However, we can achieve full Kuwaitization by starting to train Kuwaiti nationals to do jobs usually occupied by expatriates. Moreover, in order to promote a culture of productivity in the Kuwaiti work place we need to debunk some of the negative stereotypes about the Kuwaiti work force.
For instance, due to certain distortions, sometimes due to rooted bad intentions, some non-Kuwaiti individuals have been spreading negative stereotypes about the ability of a Kuwaiti individual to practice manual labor.
There also might be a number of people who may not wish Kuwaiti citizens to replace them! Such anti-Kuwaiti sentiments usually take the form of preventing some Kuwaiti employees from learning and gaining needed experiences in the workplace.
The aspiring Kuwaiti employee who works in some technical or administrative sectors sometimes faces some hostile competitors! Establishing productivity and excellent work ethics in a society usually starts in developing the current educational system: for example, we lack the necessary educational emphasis in our national curriculums on technical education.
Honest, law-abiding and decent expats would wish for nothing other than see Kuwaitis replace them. Expats have already done their share in developing Kuwait’s infrastructures and economy, and it is our turn as Kuwaitis to continue the journey.
By Khaled Aljenfawi