BE2C2 Report — Saudi Arabia’s ministry for labor will launch a program to create 1.2 million jobs for locals by ending the domination of foreign workers in crucial occupations, according to a report published in Al Hayat on Monday.
The goal of the program is to cut unemployment among Saudi citizens and ease the high demand for foreigners in important jobs in all sectors.
This will be done through a nationwide training and other initiatives, the Arabic paper said.
The ministry will restrict the access to some jobs for Saudis only, especially in the business sector, such as those related to production, manufacturing, and maintenance.
The ministry has recruited more than 16,000 Saudi men and women in jobs related to selling and repairing of mobile phones.
In January, the Kingdom announced that 120 local engineers were sent to Britain for training.
According to a report in the Energywire, up to 80 percent of Saudi Arabia’s workforce is “non-national.” The National Transformation Plan (NTP 2020) launched last April aims to achieve localization of Kingdom’s workforce and local manufacturing (by encouraging foreign direct investment).
According to the report, Saudi Arabia has made inroads into greater economic diversification but much of it revolves around the energy industry: power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration and petrochemicals. Putting citizens to work is also a high priority.
Last April the Saudi GE Technology and Innovation Center announced it wants to boost “training in energy, health care and localized research for over 10,000 Saudi professionals through local and global programs.
The aim is to help modernize the Kingdom’s electric grid and make inroads in industrial applications and health care.
The conglomerate said it wants to double its Saudi Arabia workforce in four years.
“Our initiatives are aligned with the strategic development priorities of the kingdom,” GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt said during Prince Salman’s visit to the U.S. last year, E&E reported.
The deal sees GE helping the country on manufacturing and exports of components for heavy GE energy equipment such as gas turbines. The goal is $100 million worth of exports and an expanded local supplier base.
In November 2015, GE announced in the completion of an initial $1 billion investment in the Kingdom.