Saudi Arabia aims at eradicating unemployment within five years and boost the pace of Saudization, Labor Minister Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi told the 6th Jeddah Economic Forum Sunday. “There is a plan to employ 120,000 Saudis in the private sector every year,” he said, according to Arab News.
Gosaibi noted that the ongoing program of Saudization was in full swing and all qualified and skilled Saudis would find jobs. The Kingdom has 75 training institutes with extensive courses for various professions and vocations. “They’re expected to train 300,000 young Saudis within three years,” the minister said, adding that education is also being given due importance with the opening of 40 more secondary schools Kingdomwide.
The apprehensions expressed by the private sector that they are still not fully prepared to Saudize their staff are unfounded, according to him. “They’re used to importing foreign labor for the last 30 years and naturally find it difficult to carry on without them. They should be able to get over the passing phase and adjust themselves to the growing reality of employing Saudi labor,” he said.
Referring to the employment of women in the private sector, Gosaibi said a large majority of families would not want their women to work in the private sector. He had received several letters to this effect, he said and emphasized that the families also wanted them to work only in segregated places.
“Women should either work from home or remain housewives, as the housewife also has a role to play in taking care of the family, especially children.” However, in the case of the private sector employing women in substantial numbers, it would be an ideal thing to provide them separate places of work, he added.
The minister also mentioned the Saudization of limousine drivers and said the implementation had to be deferred, as the companies were not fully prepared. “But then this has to come sooner than later and all private sector companies have to show their preparedness to implement the program,” he said. “This, however, does not mean that the Kingdom can do without foreign labor. We’ll still need skilled labor until our own labor is fully trained to take over.”