By Neeraj Gangal
Only 5.45m Saudi workers to be ready to take up new jobs, against 10.8m on offer.
Major development projects in Saudi Arabia will require more than 10.8 million workers by the year 2014, creating more job opportunities for Saudis and expatriates.
A study conducted by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) reveals that only 5.45 million Saudi workers would be ready to take up the new jobs. The Arab News daily reported the findings of the study on Saturday, adding that this would create a gap of of 5.4 million or 49.8 percent.
The study estimated that Saudi workers constitute 12.8 percent of the total work force in the private sector, which will make it difficult for private companies to win government contracts because of restrictions in recruiting foreign manpower, the newspaper reported.
The study proposed a survey of new job requirements, especially for Saudi’s mega economic cities, and the training of Saudis to meet these. It also called for a revision of the curricula of educational and training institutions to meet job market requirements, Arab News noted.
The study emphasised the importance of improving the productivity of the Saudi work force by establishing specialised national productivity centers and providing incentives for Saudis to achieve this goal.
The study expects the unemployment rate among Saudis will come down from 10.5 percent in 2008 to 7.1 percent in 2014, with the number of unemployed Saudis shrinking to 418,500.
According to the study, this would be structural unemployment as these Saudis would not be qualified to do the jobs done by expatriates, Arab News said.
The study attributed the lack of qualified Saudis to do private jobs to a lack of science and technology graduates. Graduates in engineering, medicine and sciences met only 12.5 percent of the Kingdom’s needs in the last five-year plan.
According to the study, Saudis have been engaged in administrative and secretarial jobs in the private sector during the past seven years. Their participation in industrial, agricultural, service and other productive work has been negligible, the daily said.
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