Friday, November 7, 2014

Hundreds of Engineers working with Fake Degrees in KSA

Nothing is ever just fun and games, and that applies as much to the Saudi Council of Engineers as it does to, for example, a six year old in Chicago who doesn’t want to do his homework on a Sunday night. Presumably, the discovery that people have been operating in Saudi Arabia with forged engineering certificates for almost three decades is no joyride. Obviously, because who would want to deal with that? Apparently, 1,600 forged certificates in a variety of arenas, including 40 cases involving Saudi nationals have been found. Not surprisingly, the chairman of the Saudi Council of Engineers demands action to be taken against the suspects.

Said chairman, Al-Shakawy, is totally up for boosting the role that the Saudi Council of Engineers has to play in acquiring the certificate, which obviously requires registration in the Saudi Council of Engineers. Unfortunately for him, only around 12 thousand of the certified Saudi engineers are registered with the Saudi Council of Engineers, with nearly 20 thousand practicing without anything of the sort. Obviously, dealing with 20 thousand people is no piece of cake, so the council has been going around, tattle-taling to the registered companies about their deceptive employees, so that further action can be taken, according to the chairman.

While that issue consumes one part of his mind, he also worries about the 800 something Saudi computer engineers who have been complaining about the lack of jobs they find in the government sector, despite being clearly capable in their profession. Qualification and the certificate they hold, it seems, does not help with the job prospects being as low as they are. Al-Shakawy does not question their competence though – because that is what any good leader does: think the best of his people – and talks instead about how some of the private and government based establishments do not provide the right atmosphere for them to work in, or that it doesn’t provide the right managerial means to actually improve the skills of the specialists in question.

Foreigners with engineering certificates come to Saudi Arabia in large numbers, but have little to none actual field experience, probably young and newly graduated. Chairman Al-Shakawy put forward the idea that Saudi Arabia should hold back from actually accepting responsibility for the training of these foreigners, because it seems that this often happens without the country ever getting something back from them. Training it can provide, but will it get the benefit as well? The effort that is put into training does not necessarily get compensated in the form of labour which is why the way it should be is to make use of the fact that these incoming foreigners do have qualifications that make them eligible to begin actual field work.

Personally, I feel that the problem is pretty impossible to deal with, what with the number of people already forging certificates – twenty thousand is no joke – and with the steadily increasing number of immigrants who may or may not also be carrying forged certification.


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