20,000 Saudis to replace expat phone shop workers

Training in phone sales and maintenance is part of Saudisation drive
20,000 Saudis to replace expat phone shop workers
A Saudi man displays mobile phones at his mobile shop in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah. (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Wed 30 Mar 2016 12:16 PM

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to train 20,000 nationals in mobile phone sales and maintenance, as part of the kingdom’s drive to ‘Saudise’ the sector.

The Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) HADAF will train up Saudi men and women so that they can take over jobs previously occupied by expat workers, reported Saudi Gazette.

The kingdom is banning foreign workers from selling and maintaining mobile phones and accessories as part of efforts to provide more jobs to Saudi citizens.

Stores selling mobile communications devices must ensure at least 50 percent of staff doing such work are Saudi citizens in three months’ time; the requirement will rise 100 percent in six months’ time.

Under the agreement, Hadaf will cover the full expenses of the training and 50 percent of the trainees’ salaries when they take up jobs at mobile phone outlets.

The fund also will extend financial support to Saudi entrepreneurs in cooperation with the National Entrepreneurship Institute.

It also intends to help support owners of small mobile shops by providing them with a monthly amount of SR3,000 ($800) for two years, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Trainees must be unemployed Saudis between the age of 18 and 60. Those that have already received similar training from the government are not eligible.

Last week Saudi officials were reported to have conducted raids on mobile phone shops in the kingdom to investigate whether illegal foreign workers are being employed in the sector.

Punitive measures are to be taken against any shop found to be violating the law.

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