Nov 29 2011
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National monitoring center for manpower information launched
The program, which will provide monthly allowance to unemployed people, aims to help a man or woman seeking employment to get a suitable and permanent job.
"The ministry will build and update an extensive database on unemployment and job seekers in the Kingdom," Fakeih said in a meeting with writers and economists in Jeddah on Saturday.
The minister said long-term solutions to unemployment included the replacement of foreign workers with national workforce, making mutually complementary policy decisions for employment generation with coordination between various ministries, achieving economic growth in preferred areas besides raising the level of educational, technological and vocational qualifications of Saudi youths.
He added that enrollment to specialized courses and spending on academic specializations would be reviewed from the angle of employment opportunities. He said educational standards would be rearranged to suit students' individual potential and the country's needs. There will also be a system for running evaluation of outputs of educational and training programs besides constant development of curriculum and training programs.
The minister also listed the short-term solutions devised by the ministry for unemployment. The list included increased monitoring of the employment market, development of the Nitaqat program, combat of cover-up operations and deportation of violators, keeping the balance of competition between Saudi and non-Saudi workers, regulating the remittances made by expatriate workers, protection of wages and making employment of expatriate workers costly.
As part of short-term solutions to the issue, the ministry will insist on those who benefit from Hafiz (unemployment allowance) to intensify their training for jobs and upgrade basic skills. The ministry will also license large companies to import and lend foreign workers, activate Saudi employment offices and specialized vocational training centers besides updating the system for women's employment.
He said there were nine clauses in a royal order on women's participation in national development activities. The third clause stipulates the Ministry of Labor is the competent authority for implementing regulations governing women's employment, the minister said, adding that lingerie shops were reserved for Saudi women. Jobs suitable for women in industries will also be reserved for them.
Other steps taken by the ministry to promote women's employment include that an establishment need not get permission from any department to employ a woman and an establishment need not have a separate entrance for women workers.
Women are also offered stipends for job training.
The Manpower Development Fund provides a SR1,500 monthly stipend for a woman worker who needs training outside the establishment where she works for one year.
The fund also provides 50 percent of the monthly allowance of a trainee on a job not exceeding SR2,000. In the second year the fund will support her job with 50 percent of her salary for two years and her monthly salary should not be less than SR3,000.
Any establishment under which a lingerie shop is operating without the stipulated Saudi women workers will not receive any services from the ministry, he warned.
The minister also said the payment of unemployment allowance has been postponed to Dec. 31 as the ministry, banks and other related departments needed more time to complete formalities.
All beneficiaries of the Hafiz will have to undergo training courses. They will also have to update their CV periodically. An inquiry center with 600 workers to answer inquiries of job applicants has been established and the center have already received 700,000 calls with a daily average of tens of thousands of calls, he said.
© Arab News 2011
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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