Minister promises regulation change to prioritize skilled locals over foreigners

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail in an exclusive interview to Sun Online on September 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has provided assurances that regulations regarding employing expatriates will be revised to disallow bringing in expatriates for work where qualified Maldivians were available. 

The Minister was speaking in the Rahvehi Fathis campaign of MDP when he said that programs were being conducted to increase the local workforce and to increase job opportunities. 

Since this was a hard task, surveys and assessments were conducted with the assistance of the World Bank, the Higher Education Ministry, and the Economic Ministry said Minister Fayyaz who added that the surveys had shown areas of where the wages were highest. 

“Some of the work is already being started through TVET programs with the Higher Education Ministry, after finding out what jobs were there, especially in resorts, and training for these jobs were finalized,” said Minister Fayyaz.  

The Minister also added that the World Bank was assisting in skill development such as in the field of accounting, and private sector resort job opportunities. 

The target was for higher-end jobs or mid-management level jobs. The work is being conducted through the job center, said Minister Fayyaz. 

“We will change the regulation for bringing in foreigners for work. This means, that if a local with certain skills is registered at the job center, and is in need of a certain job, my thinking is that a foreigner cannot be preferred over the local for that post. If there is no local, then a foreigner can be brought in,” said Minister Fayyaz.

This, however, required a skilled workforce, said the Minister.