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Thu 30 Dec 2010 02:32 PM

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Saudi unemployment hits half a million – Labour Minister

Saudisation program has failed to replace expat workers with jobless nationals, says Adel Fakieh

Saudi unemployment hits half a million – Labour Minister
An estimated 500,000 Saudi nationals remain unemployed, the countrys Labour Minister said

An
estimated 500,000 Saudi nationals remain unemployed, despite government efforts
aimed at nationalising the kingdom’s workforce, the Saudi Labour Minister has
said.

"We
have to solve this unemployment problem," Labour Minister Adel Fakieh told
a gathering of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to media
reports.

Saudisation
had aimed to replace 10 percent of the expatriate workforce with unemployed
nationals, but the programme has failed to meet its goal, he said.

“During
the past 15 years, only a few jobs were Saudised.”

Saudi
businessman and chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (CSCCI) Saleh Kamel called for the appointment of an international
consultancy firm to help implement the Saudisation program more effectively.

Unemployment
in the kingdom is estimated at 10.5 percent, according to figures from the CIA
World Factbook, up from a global average of 8.7 percent.

Saudi
Arabia’s 2010-2014 economic development plan pledged to halve unemployment,
however analysts have warned the figures are optimistic.

“They
[Saudi Arabia] have unemployment coming down to five percent in 2014, but we’re
predicting the figure to stay at around 11 percent over the forecast period,”
Rory Fyfe, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s specialist for Saudi Arabia
told Arabian Business.

“The
problem in terms of education is that while they’ve been relatively successful
in creating a very good education sector, they are still not delivering people
that are capable of working in the private sector.”

 

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AB-durrahman 9 years ago

we are pleased to know that the government of Saudi is creating jobs both for Saudis and as well as foreign workers. However it is painful to know that there are so many foreign workers are working where local Saudis CAN BE ACCOMMODATED.Such as Banks, example. National commercial Bank n Jeddah and Riyadh.Many consulting offices are having engineers etc,where local Saudis can be appointed.