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Friday, March 5, 2021

Dismal pay making it harder for Gulf to find unskilled workers

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It’s getting more difficult for South Asian recruiters to drum up enthusiasm and labor for low-paying jobs in the Khaleej.

That’s because Asian workers are finding myriad opportunities elsewhere, recruiters said during a five-day meeting on the “sponsorship system in the GCC states,” which concluded earlier this week in Kathmandu.

Wooed by better pay and benefit packages in countries like South Korea, Kazakhstan and parts of eastern Europe, Asian workers are staying away from the Gulf at a time when rapid development calls for all hands on deck.

Gulf Times reports:

Despite the numerous risks involved in serving in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, a large number of workers, especially fresh hands are moving there because the pay is better…

According to the reports from Nepal, there is (also) a renewed interest these days among its youngsters to move to southern Indian states for employment, especially in construction related jobs. Even otherwise, a considerably large number of Nepalese workers have established a firm footing in diverse areas of activities in northern Indian cities.

Asians constitute a huge chunk of Qatar’s population (almost 30%, or several hundred thousand people), so “declining interest” among such a workforce would deeply affect the country’s development plans.

But according to the latest human rights reports, the average laborer here makes QR800-QR1100 a month ($219-$300), and almost 70 percent are unhappy about being grossly underpaid. Wages in other Gulf nations are comparable.

Unless that situation is rectified, it’s hard to see how Qatar and the rest of the GCC countries will come out on top of this crisis.

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