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Kuwaitis Prefer Public Sector Jobs Over Private Sector Opportunities

In response to the public sector’s inability to create new job opportunities for citizens, and the looming challenge of employing 300,000 young men and women within the next decade, there’s a pressing need to cultivate a thriving private sector. Al-Qabas daily reports that the private sector can play a pivotal role in offering employment to Kuwaitis, but it requires government support through tenders, manpower, or labor assistance.

Currently, only 4.4 percent of Kuwaitis are employed in the private sector, a figure that raises concerns about citizens’ reluctance to venture into non-governmental employment. Out of 448,000 citizens working in both sectors, only 72,300 are employed in the private sector, exacerbating the burden on the state budget with over 377,000 Kuwaitis reliant on government jobs.

This disparity presents a crisis that demands immediate attention and a radical solution. Experts interviewed by the daily emphasize the importance of the private sector in employing Kuwaitis, especially considering its current inadequate contribution aligning with Kuwait Vision 2035.

Hoda Al-Baqshi, Director General of the Federation of Kuwaiti Industries, highlights the challenges faced by the industrial sector, citing infrastructure deficiencies and a preference for imported goods over local products. Al-Baqshi advocates for government support through purchasing local products to sustain the sector and enable the payment of Kuwaiti employees’ salaries.

She also underscores the necessity for tailored remuneration packages for private sector employees, emphasizing that while the sector is committed to employing Kuwaitis, it struggles to compete with the benefits offered by the public sector.

Moreover, Al-Baqshi points out the prevalence of disguised unemployment in the public sector due to societal perceptions and the absence of accountability and evaluation mechanisms. She argues for a shift in the state’s employment policies, focusing on merit-based appointments and job descriptions tailored to sectoral needs.

Ultimately, addressing Kuwait’s employment challenges requires a comprehensive strategy encompassing clear job descriptions, merit-based appointments, and a shift in societal attitudes towards technical occupations.

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