The Kuwaiti Labour Market and Foreign Workers: Understanding the Past and Present to Provide a Way Forward

This policy brief examines the influence of demographic transition and migration on the development of the Kuwait labour market and economy.

Meeting document | 19 December 2014
In 2011 the Kuwaiti government announced that it would reduce the usage of the Kefala system: the primary mechanism by which migrant labour enters the country. The government aims to promote a ‘Kuwaitisation’ of the labour market away from a reliance on foreign labour. However, they face a number of challenges and structural issues that must be addressed in order to offset this dependence such as school quality, higher education standards and lack of vocational training. In addition, there is a low proportion of the national labour force in scientific and technical occupations; a lack of legislation encouraging the Kuwaiti labor force to work in the private sector and a lack of legislation that supports and promotes SMEs.