The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) have launched a program to nationalise 14,000 jobs in the ICT sector.

The program, which is divided into four phases, targets technical support functions in the first phase and data analysis functions in the second phase, according to an Arabic statement by the ministry. The third and fourth phases will focus on project managers and call center staff.

The targeted functions include specific areas such as artificial intelligence, IoT, software development, game development, databases, software quality, management and operation of applications and networks, according to the statement.

Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Sudairy, Director General of Hadaf pointed out in the statement that the program aims to support Saudisation through training and equipping Saudi nationals from both genders with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to the needs of the labor market in the telecommunication and information technology jobs in the private sector.

Hadaf is present in various cities and regions in the kingdom to support job seekers in the private sector.

Saudi authorities have taken several measures to address the high unemployment rate among its population, especially the youth. The kingdom still faces double digit unemployment rate among its nationals, though it dropped to 12.3 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to 12.5 percent in the first quarter, according to the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT). It had hit a record high of 12.9 percent in the first quarter of last year, the highest level recorded since 1999.

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In the beginning of this year, the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development started implementing Saudisation in five key sectors in jobs in building and construction material shops, medical appliances and equipment shops, car spare parts shops, shops selling carpets and confectionary shops and patisseries.

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(Reporting by Nada Al Rifai; Editing by Seban Scaria)


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