In a bid to ensure that foreign workers in the country do not have any criminal record in the past, UAE may soon roll out security checks on foreign workers, a minister told the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday.

It’s not yet known how it will work, but it’s likely to be put into practice for all new people moving to the UAE

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

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 Emiratization 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 number of registered employees at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization reached about 4.7 million by the end of 2015, compared to 4.417 million workers in 2014, according to statistics released by the ministry.

The statistics showed the number of skilled talents in 2015 recorded an overall growth of about 12 percent. Workers registered at the ministry with fourth and fifth skill levels (limited skill) were around 79 percent of the total employees while the number of workers having first, second and third levels (skilled) reached about one million or 21 percent. This was 20 percent in 2013 and 20.5 percent in 2014.