At least 100,000 government job slots will be created within Iraq's 2013 budget, most of which are expected to be filled by university graduates, the Iraqi government announced Wednesday (January 30th).
"The new jobs are distributed throughout various ministries and government institutions, including the defence and interior ministries, and the national intelligence service," said Ali al-Musawi, media advisor to the Iraqi government.
The majority of those positions will be given to those with bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, he said.
Families of "terrorism victims and contractors who have been working for government ministries on daily-wage basis will be at the top of the list for appointment to these jobs", he said.
Once parliament ratifies this year's budget, which should happen within the next few days, the government will start the application process for these jobs, al-Musawi said.
Iraqi Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi told Mawtani the new job slots "will be given to those who deserve them, in accordance with the needs of ministries and other institutions for the applicants' specialisations".
He added that most of the new job openings "provide for equality between males and females".
Salam al-Quraishi, economic advisor to the government, outlined conditions for job applicants to Mawtani.
"The government approved specific requirements for these jobs: academic achievement, specialisation and age," he said, noting that an applicant must not be more than 35 years of age, and cannot have a criminal or terrorism-related record.
Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq told Mawtani the new job allocations are insufficient compared to the number of ministries and their need for specialised staff.
"Hundreds of schools, industrial facilities and various services are in need of people, and there are some 500,000 unemployed persons with university-level degrees throughout Iraq, but the current number of jobs is all the 2013 budget allows," he said.
"We hope that the number of jobs offered will increase to around 130,000 after next June," as a result of surplus oil revenues, and through the positions that will open when employees retire, he said.
Al-Mutlaq said the job selection process will be more transparent, as it will be based on an electronic system to select eligible applicants.
The new job slots will open up in the ministries of health, education, higher education and scientific research, municipalities and public works, industry and minerals, housing and reconstruction, interior, defence, human rights, transport, foreign affairs, finance, communications, culture, agriculture, oil, electricity, science and technology, trade and water resources, according to Ahmed al-Alwani, chairman of the parliamentary economic committee.
The Independent Human Rights Commission, the Supreme Audit Board, the Media and Communications Commission and the Independent High Electoral Commission will also be allocated some of those job slots, he told Mawtani.
Each province's share of the job openings will be decided based on population density, rate of unemployment and need, he said.