The Director of the Job Department at the Civil Service Bureau, Aisha Al Mutawa, revealed that 6,127 expats were terminated in the past three years as part of the 2017 governmental policy known as Kuwaitization, local media reported.
Working towards creating a 100 per cent Kuwaiti workforce in the public sector, Kuwaitization has resulted in mass termination in the past few years.
By the end of 2021 it is expected that a total of 7,970 expats would have canceled contracts.
Al Mutawa pointed out of the 379,000 employees working in government agencies affiliated with the Civil Service Bureau, 71,000 of them are expats.
Majority of expats in the public sector work for the Ministry of Health or are teachers working for the Ministry of Education.
The Kuwaitization plan has been applauded by many in Kuwait, including government officials and politicians, as a way to address Kuwait’s demographic imbalance as expats make up 70 per cent of the total population.
While the three million expats in Kuwait mainly work in the private sector or in marginal day to day jobs that are unaccounted for, many still view Kuwaitization as a way to solve the issue and reduce the number of non-Kuwaitis working in the governmental sector.
Since the policy was put into place, several governmental agencies have stopped renewing work contracts of expats and have halted hiring new expat employees.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for mass layoffs as many expats stuck abroad had their contracts terminated and residencies canceled.