By Andrew Sambidge
Saudi Arabia's Labour Minister says 1.5m applications received from nationals looking for work
More than 1.5 million applications have been received from Saudi Arabian jobseekers over the past few weeks as the kingdom ramps up its new plan to find employment for nationals.
Labour Minister Adel Fakeih said the list of Saudis waiting for jobs would be finalised in November.
In comments published by Saudi daily Arab News on Monday, he said private sector companies employing Saudis will receive a spate of benefits and incentives from Saturday when the Nitaqat Saudization system enters a new phase.
“In addition to the incentives already declared, private employers will enjoy additional ones from November 26,” he told the paper.
Fakeih said the ministry would start imposing punishments on companies in the red category from the same date and urged companies that are below their Saudization targets to act immediately.
“This will be the last chance for them to improve,” the minister said.
In July, Fakeih said 20 percent of firms were in the red band of the new Nitaqat system for improving employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.
Fakeih said the ministry would intensify inspections of private companies to punish violators.
“We are going to implement new mechanisms from next year when citizens would be able to inform the ministry by phone or e-mail about the violation of Saudization rules by private firms,” he said.
Under the country's new Nitaqat system, companies are to be labelled “green”, “yellow” or “red” depending on the number of Saudis working for them.
Companies in the “yellow” category will not be able to extend their foreign employees’ work visas beyond six years while “red” companies will not be able to renew their foreign workers’ visas at all.
“Green” companies will be entitled to a number of benefits, such as expedited services for foreign workers’ visas and the ability to change the job categories of foreign workers into job categories reserved for Saudis.
I have worked in Saudi before. In my view, Nithwaqath is not practical, If an employer want profit from his business. Saudis does exist who are really competent, and they are smart enough to find their own job & employer. But Nithwaqath will bring in the "Spoon fed" ones, which will encourage even the Competent Saudis to become lazy in future.. I am an Indian, and I am not posting this fearing that fellow Indians, Pakistanis, Bengladeshis may loose their jobs.. They will find new jobs around the globe.. If not in Saudi.. there will be another location.. Nithwaqath will fail ultimately, creating problem to Saudi Arabia & Its community.
IN MY OPINION NITAQAT CAN ONLY BE PRACTICAL FOR THE JOBS WHICH FIXED FOR SAUDIS.TO HAVE 20% SAUDIS IN COMPANIES SPECIALLY IN CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES,WHERE SKILLED AND NON SKILLED PEOPLE REQUIRED.IT IS BETTER TO CREATE JOBS IN GOVERNMENT SECTOR SUCH AS RAILWAYS,HEALTH ,DEFENCE,AIRLINES,AGRICULTURE, EDUCATION,AND IN TRANSPORT.IN PRIVATE BUSINESS AND CONSTRUCTION AREAS IF NITAQAT WILL BE IMPOSED WILL INCREASE THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION AND DECREASED THE PROFIT OF MARGIN WHICH NO OWNER WILL ACCEPT.WHICH WIIL CREATE PROBLEM RATHER TO SOLVE THE JOB PROBLEM.