UAE mulls background security checks on expat workers

The country also plans to increase the percentage of skilled foreign workers



It may soon become mandatory for foreign workers in the UAE to present a good-conduct certificate from their home countries before they can work in the country.

The UAE plans to soon introduce background security checks on expatriates living in the country, in a bid to ensure that foreign workers in the country do not have any criminal record in the past, local media reported.

Conducting background security checks on foreign workers was approved in principle by the Cabinet in October 2016, Gulf News quoted Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash as saying.

“A committee made up of representatives of the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs and Human Resources and Emiratisation was set up and its findings will be submitted to the Cabinet in a few weeks. We expect a Cabinet decision to conduct security checks on all foreign workers will be issued soon,” the minister told the Federal National Council (FNC).

Globash also confirmed that the country plans to increase the percentage of skilled workers – including those who hold a diploma or above – to 40 per cent of the workforce by 2021.

The ministry is also aiming to boost production from the UAE’s non-oil sectors by 5 per cent per year.

“This is not possible if the workers’ skills are not elevated. This is a challenge that shows to what extent the government is keen on shifting towards a competitive, knowledge-driven economy,” The National quoted him as saying.

The Human Resources and Emiratisation ministry is also conducting a study to increase the employment fees paid by companies to hire limited-skill workers, Ghobash said.

“This will cause a turning point in attracting a skilled workforce.

“As a result of everything I mentioned, the percentage of high-skilled workers has increased from 400,000 to 600,000 in the past five years, and by 20 per cent for labourers.”

The UAE was ranked as the fourth best destination for an international career, according to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer Survey, released last week.

In the 45 country ranking, the bank found that the Emirates stood only behind Switzerland, Germany and Sweden in terms of career prospects.

The UAE’s high ranking for career prospects was thanks partly to its third place ranking for earnings.

Read more: UAE climbs to 4th in global expat career ranking

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