The Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) has announced that it started extending support to private establishments to help them employ more Saudi men and women. This is one of the tasks of the fund along with numerous other programs and initiatives.
Is the problem impeding the Saudization of jobs remains to be the low monthly payments alone?
I wished so much that the Hadaf and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development had studied the labor market to check the jobs that were in most demand.
According to the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), there were 1,149,342 Saudi employees whose salaries ranged from SR1,500 to SR4,999 while there were 5,077,422 expatriates who earned monthly salaries of SR1,500 or less.
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The expatriates who received a salary of between SR1,501 and SR3,000 numbered 1,020,531. This means that the number of the expatriates who received a monthly salary of less than SR3,000 was 6,097,953.
According to GaStat, there were 3,795,304 foreign house helps, 2,198,031 expats working in primary engineering jobs, 549,350 clerks and 536,277 salesmen and saleswomen.
What I want to say here is that we need accurate statistics about real jobs that are available in the job market and our real employment needs.
We need to look at the strength of our manpower and decide whether there are sufficient numbers of Saudi men and women to replace the 6 million expatriates who work low-paid jobs in this country. We also need to look at how many Saudis are willing to work for salaries less than SR3,000 a month.
Here we need to address the question of what jobs can be nationalized and what cannot.
When we talk about the contracting sector and the car workshops we have to ask an important question: Are there enough Saudis to take available jobs in these sectors? If there are, can they accept to work for these little salaries, which are readily accepted by the expatriates? The answer, of course, is a big «No».
The support being extended by Hadaf to the private sector is a temporary one, no matter how long it will continue. But do we need a temporary or final solution?
Many people say we do not need this large number of workshops or commercial shops that exist in the country. We need a careful and gradual assessment until we have enough number of Saudis who will accept to do these trivial jobs for a reasonable salary.
There are 714,543 Saudis who draw SR3,000 in monthly salaries. Will these Saudis accept to do this kind of menial work?
We need to know if a citizen will be willing to accept a job that will only pay him/her SR3,000 a month. This is the only way by which we can nationalize jobs in the labor market.
By Rashid Muhammad Al-Fawzan
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.
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