Mar 21 2011
|more articles from|
Private sector can provide 250,000 jobs in six months
The people can be employed in retailing, for salaries ranging between SR2,500 and SR3,000, and clerical jobs occupied by thousands of expatriates, they said. The economists also warned against the monthly SR2,000 unemployment benefit ordered by the King becoming a goal for some people who could quit their jobs to apply for it, noting that this tendency would fundamentally damage the noble project.
Fahd Al-Ahmadi, an economist, said: "The private sector has been evading implementing Saudization for 20 years under various pretexts, like Saudis are not serious or want more than they are offered in terms of salary." "There are thousands of private-sector retail shops, which, with little employee training, can be all filled with a million Saudi employees paid salaries that do not burden the private sector."
He said Saudis who undergo training courses are in greater demand by employers in the private sector.
Al-Ahmadi noted that Saudization rates in major companies are high because "they are committed to reasonable salaries and incentives," citing the experiences of banks, SABIC and the Saudi Telecom Company. He said authorities must force some small companies that are paying low salaries and forcing employees to work 12 hours a day to commit to shorter working hours and paying overtime.
Economist Abdulhadi Al-Harithi said Saudization would only succeed if there are "deterring regulations and punishments against companies failing to fulfill their duty in that regard." "The private sector must carry out its responsibilities and return the favor given to it by the state - the loans and assistance that helped it establish strong businesses that now constitute 47 percent of the total local production," he said.
The private sector is evading employment of Saudis and the government decisions in that regard, especially decisions that addressed gradual annual Saudization of jobs filled with expatriates, support to women's shops and employing Saudi saleswomen in women's clothing shops, according to Al-Harithi. He criticized the failure to implement the decision to give priority in awarding government projects to companies committed to Saudization.
Economist Rhida Al-Taiyar said Saudis must not look at the unemployment benefit as a goal and pointed out that it only lasts for one year. "Saudi youth must prove themselves to be serious and responsible," he said.
The presence of more than six million expatriate workers in the Kingdom must be addressed, given that more than 500,000 Saudis need jobs, he said, and the unemployment rate is likely to increase in the years ahead with the graduation of thousands of university and institute students.
Al-Taiyar expressed skepticism about the numbers of employed Saudis announced every year by some bodies, including the Human Resources Fund. He said the number of Saudis employed in the private sector does not exceed 800,000 and wondered about the billions of riyals the Fund has received in recent years, given the fact that many companies were found to have manipulated the rates of Saudization and profited from the Fund.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.