'Cannot hire expats if qualified locals are available'

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that organizations will not be able to hire foreign workers if there are locals who fulfil the requirements for the positions. The President made the statement while speaking at a ceremony held Wednesday night to officially inaugurate the Job Center at Alifishi island of Raa atoll.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih revealed the government's plans to establish Training and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes across Maldives, and said Alifushi would be one of the locations where such a centre will be developed.

President Solih also detailed this administrations success in limiting the number of foreign workers permits authorised, demonstrating the government's commitment to developing local human resources and offering adequate employment opportunities to all Maldivians. The president said although 56,000 work permits were issued when the new administration took over, the current government issued only 8,900 work permits during the first seven months of the current year.

The job cnetre in Alifushi is the first in a series to be launched nationwide. The purpose of establishing job centers across Maldives is to connect Maldivians seeking jobs with employers with open positions in their organisations. Some services of the Ministry of Economic Development will also be available in the atolls through the job centers.