RIYADH — The localization drive initiated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), in partnership with the Ministry of health, in the pharmacy sector has been instrumental in creating large number of jobs for young Saudi men and women.

The number of citizens working in the pharmacy sector has exceeded the target set for it by 700 percent, as their number shot up to more than 10,000 in 2023 from 1,266 pharmacists in 2020, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry’s efforts have contributed to supporting the process of Saudization of the private sector and provide job opportunities that are consistent with the ministry’s objectives and strategies in supporting the labor market with national competencies. More than 1,300 pharmacists have been hired and qualified to take up jobs in the private pharmacy sector during the current year.

Many citizens who are working in the pharmacy profession are largely based in major pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical supply companies, and also in hospitals where there are pharmacies operating. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, MHRSD worked out implementing its plan of localizing the pharmacy sector in a gradual way, starting with a rate of 30 percent and a minimum wage of SR7000.

The two ministries are periodically reviewing the status of the sector and study raising the appropriate nationalization rate to accommodate those who completed graduation and those who are pursuing graduation courses in the pharmacy science as part of their bid to provide more stimulating and productive job opportunities for male and female citizens in various regions of the Kingdom. This decision has greatly provided the opportunity for Saudi pharmacists to work in private sector hospitals, medical complexes, pharmaceutical companies and factories, and community pharmacies.

The MHRSD affirmed the excellence of Saudi youth working in the pharmacy sector, stressing its continued endeavor to provide job opportunities in the pharmacy sector for male and female citizens as well as to enhance the confidence of society and the nation in them. The supervisory teams from the ministry carry out continuous monitoring tours to ensure the compliance and implementation of Saudization decision by pharmacies all over the Kingdom.

As part of the second edition of the Saudization program, the ministry began working on transferring the localization tasks to six supervisory bodies, namely: “Health; commerce; tourism, transportation and logistics services; municipal and rural affairs and housing; and industry and mineral wealth,” where the supervisory authorities, in coordination with the ministry, periodically review the status of the sector and the professions targeted for Saudization, their Saudization rates, and the support programs that are provided by them. According to this model, a study is being conducted to raise the appropriate Saudization rate in the pharmacy profession to accommodate the graduated pharmacists and those who are expected to be graduated in future.

The ministry’s Saudization strategy is based on several tracks to create job opportunities that are compatible with the qualifications of jobseekers. It provides the private sector establishments with a number of incentives and support programs to help them employ Saudis, including supporting the process of attracting and searching for suitable workers, supporting the necessary training and qualification process, and supporting the recruitment and career continuity process, in addition to giving priority in benefiting from all available nationalization support programs in the system, apart from the support and employment programs being implemented through the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF).

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