Ministry: Qatar reducing its reliance on unskilled workers

In a development that state planners are calling “promising,” the percentage of unskilled laborers in Qatar has dropped to its lowest level in nearly seven years.

Local authorities have long called for highly educated expats to make up a larger share of Qatar’s foreign workforce as a way of modernizing the economy.

According to a wide-ranging economic update released last week, unskilled workers made up 19.6 percent of the non-Qatari labor force last year, down from 21.4 percent in 2014.

At the same time, the share of semi-skilled employees – such as machine operators and craftworkers – climbed from 47.4 percent to 51.6 percent.

The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) previously defined unskilled workers as those employed in “elementary” occupations.

According to the International Labour Organization, that can include cleaners, garbage collectors and people working in construction, agriculture and fishing.

In its report, the ministry said:

“The country’s emphasis on infrastructure building has so far favoured lower skilled workers. The bulk of foreign workers in Qatar do not have tertiary qualifications.

Promisingly, however, the share of semi-skilled workers hit a peak in 2015, while the share of unskilled workers stood at the lowest level since data collection began in 2008.”

 

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