Saudi Arabia set to launch initiative to help job seekers

Labour Minister says unemployed can register for allowance online, rules to be announced later
Saudi Arabia set to launch initiative to help job seekers
Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that it was to launch a new initiative to support job seekers in the kingdom. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 15 Mar 2011 07:07 PM

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that it was to launch a new initiative to support job seekers in the kingdom.

Registration for the Programme for Job-seekers' Allowance will be launched on Wednesday in all parts of the country, said Adel Faqih, Minister of Labour in comments published by state news agency SPA.

The registration can be accessed via a new website - www.hafiz.gov.sa - or by calling a special telephone number set up by telcos STC, Mobily and Zain.

The first phase of the programme, SPA said, aims to account for all those citizens who are eligible for the allowance, the minister said.

The ministry will announce all the rules and mechanisms for the incentive programme once the Supreme Economic Council has reviewed "all related recommendations", SPA added.

"The importance of the programme is to collect the real number of job seekers and to identify job categories, which in turn contribute in providing more accurate data to support plans to address the issue of unemployment in the long term more effectively, Faqih said.

He said the programme was a "temporary solution" for job seekers with "priority given to recruitment, training and rehabilitation".

Last week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Labour plans to launch a new Saudization programme in the next few weeks which will introduce stricter rules on employing foreign workers.

The new plan also aims to tackle the issue of ending the kingdom's unemployment problem among Saudi nationals, Labour Minister Adel Fakieh said.

"The new programme consists of regulations and mechanisms that will change the fundamentals of the job market and seek to achieve incremental employment of Saudis and ban the private sector employing non-Saudis if sufficient local hands are available," he added in comments publihed by Saudi daily Arab News.

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