RIYADH — Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi said that a total of 600000 Saudi men and women have entered the private sector to take up jobs since 2019.

“Saudi women’s participation in the employment market has crossed 35 percent in 2023,” he said while addressing a dialogue session on “The Budget within the Framework of Services Development” on the sidelines of the 2023 Budget Forum following the approval of the state’s general budget by the Council of Ministers held in Riyadh on Thursday.

Al-Rajhi discussed the ministry’s major achievements during the year 2023, including an increase of 600000 in the number of Saudis working in the private sector up from 1.7 million in 2019 to 2.3 million this year, and these included 361000 Saudis who had never entered the labor market.

The minister noted that women’s participation in the labor market has increased from 17 percent to 35.3 percent, exceeding the set Vision 2030 target of 30 percent. He stressed that the ministry is working to implement the directives of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman to raise the target of women’s participation in the labor market to 40 percent during the coming period.

He said the numbers and indices contained in the budget confirm the state’s direction in supporting opportunities for growth, sustainability, and financial stability to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. “The support of the leadership led to the development of more services provided to citizens and expatriates,” he said while highlighting the successes achieved in qualitative localization.

“This contributed to the increase in the participation rate of Saudis in engineering professions from 40,000 to 70,000, and accounting professions from 42,000 to 103,000, in addition to empowering more than 100,000 young men and women in 2023, and transforming their families from families in need of support to productive families,” he said.

Al-Rajhi said there has been a decrease of 74 percent in beneficiaries’ visits to the ministry’s branches from 53,000 to 13700 visits per month, in addition to an increase in automated services from 284 services to 1,000 digital services, representing 80 percent of the total services while targeting 300 new services in 2024. The total amount disbursed in 2023 in terms of social security, Citizen’s Account, and comprehensive rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities amounted to SR86 billion, he said.

Al-Rajhi addressed the ministry’s goals for the year 2024, and these include launching the second phase of Saudization program to create 172,000 jobs, targeting six vital sectors, launching and activating the national skills strategy, launching a proactive communication service for beneficiaries before visiting the branch, and the virtual branch service to serve them in their homes.

The number of non-profit organizations recorded an increase of 30 percent reaching 5,000 organizations, while the number of cooperative societies rose to 467, and the increase in the volume of their economic contributions reached SR2.3 billion, creating more than 16,000 jobs

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