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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New panel established to push private sector to employ more Qataris

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Qatar skyline

A new committee set up under Qatar’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) will push the private sector to give at least 20 percent of its jobs to Qatari nationals, in line with mandatory targets.

The special panel will enforce the existing Qatarization target and will roll out a five-point action plan that it hopes to complete by 2019, according to the Peninsula, which quotes a report in Arabic daily Al Sharq.

Through this plan, the government aims to increase the number of Qataris working in the private sector – which is currently overwhelmingly dominated by expats – and to monitor private companies to ensure they are striving to meet the quota.

The Peninsula reports that members of the panel have already met with 116 firms to talk to them about their Qatarization record and to encourage them to do more to hire nationals, and to provide training and research opportunities for Qataris.

Jobseekers’ portal

As part of the plan, the special committee will also oversee the roll-out of a new online jobs portal dedicated to Qatari jobseekers.

The site, which is expected to be launched “soon” – although no specific date has been confirmed – will include a directory of vacant posts for Qataris, in addition to lists of opportunities for research, scholarships and training.

The committee will monitor the progress of companies and regularly report on achievements and advise what more can be done to boost Qatarization.

Private sector Qataris

According to a Labor Force survey conducted last year by the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, Qataris account for less than 1 percent of the total private sector workforce. Additionally, only 5 percent of employed Qataris hold private-sector jobs.

The National Development Strategy (NDS) 2011-16 seeks to boost this figure to 15 percent, and the new MOLSA panel is the latest step in a bid to realize this target.

This is a cornerstone of Qatar’s economic diversification, which aims to make Qatar more self-sufficient through appropriate training and qualification of its national workforce, particularly in private sector industries.

Labor Undersecretary Hussein Al Mulla warned last year that the private sector has no excuse not to set aside 20 percent of its jobs for nationals.

Companies ignoring the directive would “have to face the music,” he added – although there has been no official outline of the penalty that would be imposed on companies who fail to meet the quota.

However, not all Qatari jobseekers want to work in the private sector.

An MDPS Quarterly Labor Force Survey from last year found that some 75 percent of 1,300 unemployed Qataris said they were not willing to work for a private company.

The number one reason given for their reluctance was unsociable working hours. This was followed by the length of the working day, lower wages than what are offered in the public sector and the frequent requirement to work a six-day week.

Qatari work values

Another reason for nationals choosing to work in the public sector could be that many private companies do not understand the values and needs that are most important to many Qataris.

The results of a study released earlier this year by Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC) concluded that there were a number of ways in which private companies could do more to attract nationals to work for them.

For instance, the report found that many Qataris are motivated not just by money but also by opportunities to serve their country and and to contribute to society – values most often associated with the public sector.

It also concluded that private companies do not advertise their vacancies in a medium that would be read by Qataris.

For example, 84 percent of employers advertise for jobs online, but only 4 percent of young Qataris said they would use the internet to find a job. Most rely on word-of-mouth and direct recommendations.

Thoughts?

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MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

This will be an interesting discussion………..
I’m not surprised at the 1300 Qataris that are unemployed and it seems most of them choose not to work, rather than accept a job they think is beneath them. People from other parts of the world do not have that luxury.
This will be very difficult to implement in some industries, especially the construction and contracting industries. As the reports mention the Qatari companies that award these contracts expect them to be done on a fast track basis, so that means 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. This is not very attractive to Qataris who value their free time, which is they work for the government they can have move of.
The next problem is compensation, Qataris will compare themselves to their friends in the government sector and semi govt and will expect a very good salary, plus lots of leave and many allowances. Financially for contractors in the private sector that would cripple them financially and they might as well shut up shop. However it could work if the government companies awarded contracts based on quality and number of Qataris employed, rather than just the lowest bidder.
Unfortunatley what I feel will happen is that Qataris will get traded like commodities in the private sector, put on the payroll to satisfy government regulations. Similar to what happens in the O&G industry here.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

When you already get money for simply existing, why put forth more effort than necessary?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

That is correct. It is not a Qatari condition, it is human condition. So many opportunities without even trying very hard. (Well except if you are on the wrong side of the muslim divide…..)

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

“The number one reason given for their reluctance was unsociable working hours. This was followed by the length of the working day, lower wages than what are offered in the public sector and the frequent requirement to work a six-day week.”
This, in a nutshell, is it.
If Qatar wants locals to start working in the private sector, they need to STOP incentivizing the public sector jobs so damn much by letting their people work short days, have 45-60 days vacation a year (not counting Eid breaks of 2 weeks each), take off whenever something else comes up, make 20-30K/month with only a high school diploma or BA degree, etc. This isn’t how the rest of the world works for most employees.
What this is going to end up doing is forcing private companies to hire a Qatari — any Qatari — regardless of their skills set or suitability for a job — just to meet the quota they’re under the gun to meet, and then they will surround that person with others who will essentially pick up the slack. The local will collect a paycheck for doing very little compared to their colleagues, they won’t be professionally challenged or learn anything, and the folks over at MOLSA will congratulate themselves on a job well done.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

You have described the situation perfectly. The country, like all countries in the region where the economy is based on hydrocarbons is being set up to fail.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Better still, prepare some legislation now to stop people holding multiple positions or close this obvious loophole. in future, companies will simply recruit anyone deemed as “Local” to have to body on the payroll to satisfy MOLSA quotas % and that will simply exacerbate an already worsening situation. Who is going to cross check if an individual has employment with 5 other employers and who will enforce the employer exclusivity clause….. ask anyone who has worked in private sector HR in KSA the nightmare that is coming.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

You have to register them with pension authority and they will tell you if they have another position

greg
greg
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

and an NOC from the company :-p

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

and an exit permit before they leave the office at the end of the day….. we are just protecting our rights…

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

Qataris need approval from their employer to change jobs, another type of NOC…

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Did not know this. Learned something new today.

Still not satisfied
Still not satisfied
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

See comment below Dobbin_the_Wonder_Horse on feasibility. Curious about your opinion, too!

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago

@stillnotsatisfied:disqus … We agree… read my reply on how they got to the 20% number

Still not satisfied
Still not satisfied
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Ah, saw it. Thanks! Furrowed brow remains in place.

Expat77
Expat77
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

I welcome Qataris working at managerial levels in Pvt companies because they can directly see labour law abuse carried out by most expat managers…Eg: KSA has mandated min. One Saudi national in Pvt. Management..

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

So the hours are inconvenient, the working day is too long, the wages aren’t enough, it’s a 6-day week… welcome to the real world, haha

And it’s the companies who will “face the music” if they can’t meet the quota?! I can understand it if there are willing applicants who want to do the job but you can’t force anyone. And I assume they’re not suggesting offering more money and benefits to do less, so what exactly should the incentive be??

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

The incentive should be that if a national is qualified for a job yet refuses to work when offered then the allowances are cut or removed completely.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago

So many things in this article that so perfectly express the divide between the mentality of Qataris and first world nations. I can’t wait for the day when I drive by a work site where every fifth guy is wearing his gutra under his hard hat.

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Pray you have as many lives as a cat, because it’s gonna be a looooong wait. lol.

R_Chow
R_Chow
7 years ago

This is so contradictory. Qatar wants Qataris to be hired by private companies, but the Qataris don’t want it because they have to work harder and longer hours. And then Qatar wants private companies to finish projects faster and this can not be achieved if they are required to employ people who don’t want to work harder and longer hours! And if they are not hired, these companies will be penalized! Did I miss something?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  R_Chow

Nope.

Chillaxxx
Chillaxxx
7 years ago

This issue doesn’t require paragraphs or discussions: private sector is more demanding and less rewarding financially. That is the only reason, no need for studies or research or any of that.

greg
greg
7 years ago

A. You also serve your country when you work in the private sector.
B. If they under perform or do not stick with the 8 hours work. Can they get fired?

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

Surely a firing would get the employer in massive amounts of trouble. If I were an employer, I’d rather face whatever penalties come along with not meeting the 20% quota versus what would happen if I fired someone who was part of my 20%. YIKES

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

There are plenty of Qatari private companies, Al Fardan, Almana, Al Emadi and you don’t see them rushing to hire their fellow citizens…… maybe they should start there as it is their patriotic duty to support Qatar.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Woah, woah, woah – getting your car worked on at Al Fardan cars is already eye-bleedingly expensive enough without filling the office with Qataris thank you very much.
🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

It would make perfect sense, Qataris love cars, so what better to be able to sell them, help maintain them and repair them.

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

So, basically – that is a tax right? You _must_ employ 20% of Qataris – or be penalized.

That means Qatar is loosing one of the biggest sale points – no tax.

So we have now:

a) huge housing expenses
b) 20% or more of profits goes for pays of unproductive workers (if you get payed because of decree – c’mon would you work? I wouldn’t..)
c) high living expenses

Why would you come to live and work or open a business in Qatar then?

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

Don’t forget 51% ownership by a Qatari sponsor who will sit at starbucks whilst you run the business, then come and collect once a month. No thanks.

disqus_6Cma75p3iE
disqus_6Cma75p3iE
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

what’s up with you and Qataris sitting at Starbucks

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

They smoke and it gets in my lungs, ruining my siting in star bucks experience, and maybe giving me free cancer, something I would rather not receive.

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago

I am currently working twelve hours six days week, including Eid, are qataris up for this.

Expat77
Expat77
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

Isn’t 12 hr work shift illegal under labour rules ? Pls. Correct me if I am wrong. .

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  Expat77

Depends on who the worker is. Keep in mind that management, engineers, operational integrity staff are exceptions from the labor law (as are domestic staff), so 12 hour shifts are not illegal for them. Whether that is right or wrong is another discussion…. but wanted to share what I knew about the law.

Dobbin_the_Wonder_Horse
Dobbin_the_Wonder_Horse
7 years ago

According to the 2012 QIE labour force survey there were 1,340,582 employed persons aged 15 and above working in Qatar. To meet the 20% quota there would need to have been 268,116 Qataris in the workforce. This was equivalent to the entire population of Qatari citizens. So unless Qataris were to be employed from the cradle to the grave the quota was entirely unachievable two years ago. With the massive increase in the workforce since 2012 the ratios will have become even more extreme.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago

Great point. I can just see the advertisements now… “Qatar…achieving the IMPOSSIBLE”

Then the ad fades, cut back to boardroom, and a poor advertising consultant says, “but guys… it actually is NOT possible”.

Still not satisfied
Still not satisfied
7 years ago

Yes, every time this comes up someone points out that it doesn’t seem mathematically possible. @Dohanews, can you please, next time, include some facts and figures to go along with the story on the initiative? How many people are working in the private sector here? Which employees will MOLSA count to determine whether a target 15-20 percent Qataris has been met in a given private sector company (guessing white collar!)? How many willing Qataris are needed to work in the private sector in order to meet the mandate based on current total private sector employees? Future? How many Qataris does that leave to fill public sector jobs? Will jobs available in the public sector be dramatically reduced to precipitate this shift? At what rate will the Palestinians, Syrians and others living here since birth and working in the public and private sector need to be naturalized in order to come up with the extra Qataris to meet these quotas? Or, how many jobs will each working age Qatari need to hold?

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago

My guess is that DN doesn’t know these things because MOLSA doesn’t know them either. That’s the problem: wide-sweeping blanket statements that don’t have a lot of thought behind them. (This guess is based on the history completely ignorant statements coming out of MOLSA in the past.)

Still not satisfied
Still not satisfied
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Well, someone should know about these things before they set targets!

MarkDoha
MarkDoha
7 years ago

Good point. Even the illustrious members of the new committee would need to quit and seek employment in the public sector. It’s a mandate that is utterly ludicrous in most sectors. Can you see hospitality, retail or construction achieving their 20% quota? Not likely. It’s hard enough to achieve in banking, finance, legal, advertising or media. The solution is on the supply side, creating a skilled, motivated talent pool rather than skewing the market by artificially rigging demand through quotas.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago

It’s quite simple, it seems that in a meeting in MOLSA, this kind of discussion happened:

person1: let’s force the private sector to hire Qataris, we should impose a 10% minumum Qatari workforce… (He just thought 10 was a good number).

person2: why 10? let’s set it at 50%.

boss: are you crazy? 20% is good.

person1: that would be amazing.
person2: you are wise.

boss: call the newspaper, let them write something good.

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Hahaaa, this is brilliant, thanks, I was in desperate need of a good laugh

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago

A comment to Doha news team. Is it possible to list the comments in correct time posted order with latest at the top of the order. Maybe others don’t agree but seems logical to me. Thanks.

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

Hi, you can select this viewing option right above your avatar – “sort by newest” (as opposed to “best” or “oldest”)

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

Thank you very much.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
7 years ago

If we look at some numbers, as an optimist, I’d say there are 300,000 total Qataris, around 80,000 are in a working age… all already have a job…

Total population is around 2,200,000 … most of the expats here are withing working age, assume 200,000 are children… 2,200,000-300,000-200,000 around 1,700,000 are working expats, mostly in the private sector.

20% of 1,700,000 is 340,000 …

Where will they find 340,000 Qataris?

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

I think that you will need more wives!

Bornrich
Bornrich
7 years ago

Many larger companies currently boast of high Qatarisation quotas. However, with the odd exception, the reality is that these companies are outsourcing operations to facilities management companies and the such like, many of which are ‘critical’ to the company’s business. I’m not just talking about post rooms, printing services and drivers, it’s core operations such as management advisers, marketing, sales etc.

Stopping this practice is undesirable because applying Qatarisation obligations to SMEs will be counterproductive to growth in this sector.

I suppose it’s a sign of an innovative and adaptive market. Unfortunately, the ACTUAL Qatarization percentage figures will continue to be massaged into meaningless boasting.

So, the next time your bank runs an advert stating “We’ve achieved XX% Qatarization” it’s probably only half true. ; )

guest
guest
7 years ago

Qatarisation is relative! Has anyone noticed how Qatari Ladies are now employed in all sorts of positions in the Public sector such as Traffic Department etc.? Great development for them, to be allowed to work outside the house, and for us because they are generally much more helpful than their male colleagues. All gains.
I do remember when I worked in the Public sector when suddenly the office were filled with young Qatari girls in clerks positions, some good most not, but the 40% Qatarisation policy was fulfilled at minimal cost. These girls were averaging 2000QR salary at the time. This is what happens in life! Snakes will always find the minimum compliance to any requirement.

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