Hire expats only as last resort, says Saudi labour official

Human Resources Development Fund reportedly drafting new Saudisation scheme

Image for illustrative purpose only. (AFP/Getty Images)

Image for illustrative purpose only. (AFP/Getty Images)

The private sector in Saudi Arabia will reportedly soon be instructed to recruit foreign workers only if there are no suitable Saudi candidates for the job in hand.

Under a new scheme being drafted as part of the government’s Saudisation policy, foreign expats are to be considered as “the last resort” in private firms’ recruitment strategies.

According to the Saudi Gazette, Omar Milibari, deputy executive chairman of the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf), said the project was intended to boost ongoing efforts by the government to nationalise jobs in the kingdom.

Reportedly addressing a media briefing in Riyadh, Milibari said under the project the private sector recruitment process will be transferred to the Labor Ministry’s electronic ‘National Gate for Jobs’ to give the opportunity to the Saudi workforce.

If an employer is unable to find qualified Saudis within a stipulated time – yet to be determined – then his application to recruit foreign manpower will be processed.

Milibari said Hadef has compiled a ‘job classification index, to help inform the writing of job descriptions and required skill sets.

“This index will give a comprehensive analysis of the jobs needed by the labor market to be the focus of training by colleges and institutes cooperating with the fund,” he was quoted as saying.

And he added Hadaf has no intention to cease financial support to private establishments that employ a large number of Saudi nationals.

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