May 28 2012
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Saudization on course, says Fakeih
Fakeih was addressing the 38th regular session of the Shoura Council presided over by its Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh.
Welcoming the minister, Al-Asheikh highlighted the significance of frequent meetings between the council and various ministries to enhance the performance of government departments and improve the level of services provided to citizens. He also urged the council to carefully study the annual reports of all ministries and subsequently meet respective officials to understand the challenges they face in implementing their plans and programs and exchange ideas to enhance efficiency in serving citizens.
Addressing members of the council, Fakeih explained that a total of 195,000 Saudi men has been employed in a market that could absorb another 35,000 during the next four months. He pointed out that finding jobs for 51,000 women in various sectors was a record achievement for the Labor Ministry as this figure is 19 times higher than the existing number of female workers in the country.
"It was a 70 percent increase and it was also a record performance, since it would have normally taken five years to reach this target," he added.
Secretary-General of the Shoura Council Mohammed Abdullah Al-Amro said the labor minister answered queries by its members. During the question-and-answer session, the minister said the primary aim of the Saudization program was to find employment opportunities for more youths.
"To achieve this target, we are in the process of developing local human resources to cater to the needs of the local employment market," he noted, adding the government has been making every effort to improve the efficiency of Saudi manpower by offering them the necessary skills and coaching them to develop the right mindset to take up jobs. The Labor Ministry had developed a mechanism to maintain a balance between supply and demand for Saudi manpower, he added.
He said there is a firm plan to increase the number of Saudis working in the private sector. "We are waiting for the final approval from the Supreme Economic Council to implement the decision. There is no exception given to any company under the Nitaqat scheme," he said.
"Every private establishment should strictly follow the guidelines spelled out under the scheme," he said, adding that work was found for 250,000 Saudi youths during the first 10 months of the Nitaqat program.
The minister said arrangements were being made to monitor the implementation of the Nitaqat program at district levels too. Such close supervision of the projects will ensure smooth implementation of the program, he added.
Fakeih also said the ministry had worked out an effective mechanism to find employment for graduates of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). Such a scheme will come into force during the next three months, he noted.
Answering a question with regard to the recruitment of female domestic workers in the Kingdom, the minister said two agreements are being drafted between the Kingdom and Indonesia and the Philippines.
He said the agreements would look after the interests of both the employer and the employee. Insurance cover has been proposed in the agreement to cover any losses incurred by the sponsor in the recruitment of housemaids or in the case of maids running away from their sponsor's house. The insurance would also include compensation in case of the worker's death.
Plans are also under way to test the skills of local and foreign workers to ensure that they are qualified in their respective professions. "This would ensure quality services to the people," he said.
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