Saudi job seekers now must enter training regime


“The measure is part of the Labor Ministry’s efforts to reinforce the importance of employing only qualified and trained Saudis in the private sector,” said Hattab Al-Inazi, the ministry spokesman. “No Saudi will be sent to a private company without him taking this mandatory training course.”

The official said college graduates would be exempt from the requirement. Those that enter the program will be given stipends during the training and be guaranteed jobs in the private sector, he added.

The move is aimed at addressing concerns that Saudis that have been applying for government job-placement campaigns lack the skills to succeed in the marketplace. The Kingdom’s job-placement program is part of its larger “Saudization” program aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on imported guest workers.

The official unemployment rate is 9 percent for men and 22 percent for women.

GOTEVOT organized a symposium under the banner “Creating Job Opportunities” which was inaugurated by Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman Tuesday night.

Prince Salman said during his speech that “the Saudi government has supported training institutions by funding them with billions of riyals … developing the talents of Saudis is among the Kingdom’s priorities.”

On his part, Minister of Labor Ghazi Al-Gosaibi said combating unemployment needed the implementation of both traditional and innovative methods.

The traditional method is to provide jobs in the public and private sectors, he explained. The new measures include “creation of small projects by young Saudis where they can provide jobs for themselves,” said the minister.

He cited the Centennial Fund as an example to the government’s support to small and medium-sized businesses, noting that the fund had financed over 180 projects and 6,000 taxis (for Saudi cab drivers) in previous years.

Al-Gosaibi said the Saudi citizen himself was the problem and the solution for unemployment. “The problem begins when people only think about importing foreign labor while starting a new project,” he said. “If Saudis got together and formed their own businesses, that would be a major step in combating unemployment.”

The minister said that many large economies of the world relied on small institutions to employ their citizens.

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