Mar 02 2011
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Saudis to have over a million jobs in two years
The plan does not include an additional 75,000 Saudis to be hired by public sector bodies, including ministries and government agencies, in a staggered schedule.
"The Shoura Council, on its part, has been reviewing the plans of the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Civil Services, which has prepared road maps to ensure the immediate employment of Saudi nationals," said Hamza Khoshain, a member of the Shoura Council. He said that the Ministry of Labor has mapped out a comprehensive strategy to provide employment to nationals and cut down dependence on expats.
He added that the Shoura Council has been discussing Saudization programs quite often. The council recently hosted Labor Minister Adel Fakieh who briefed Shoura members about various labor issues including the Saudization program. The Council also reviewed the Saudization programs among companies located in the industrial cities of Yanbu and Jubail recently. The Shoura is of the opinion that a mechanism should be found to accommodate local human resources, while phasing out expatriate workers.
The Ministry of Labor has pledged to create five million jobs by 2030 as part of its long-term plan. "In fact, the ministry has short-term and long-term plans to ensure the hiring of young Saudis in public and private sector organizations on a regular basis," said the Shoura member.
According to a recent report, the Ministry of Labor is targeting to halve unemployment among nationals and bring it below 5.5 percent in the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, the Kingdom's 2010-14 plan speaks extensively of finding ways and means to substitute Saudi workers for expatriate labor in the private sector. In the public sector, a new plan to replace 75,000 foreign workers is in the pipeline, said the Ministry of Civil Services here on Monday. It said any position not currently being held by a Saudi national is considered vacant.
A report in this regard was presented to King Abdullah in which it was made clear that a total of 941,900 positions have been filled by Saudis in public sector departments out of the 1,098,127 positions approved by the government. The ministry has, meanwhile, refused a proposal to increase the retirement age of government employees to 65 years, saying there is an abundant young workforce locally available and waiting to be employed.
© Arab News 2011
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