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Saudi Authorities Set New Rules On Recruiting Expat Engineers

Four major senders of expat engineers–Pakistan, India, Egypt and Syria–are expected to be hit mostly by the new ruling

RIYADH (Nov 25, 2018): The Saudi authorities are enforcing new regulations which restrict the recruitment of foreign engineers, Akhbaar24 reported.

Under the new rules, fresh expat engineers would be barred from working in the kingdom for lack of professional experience.

Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE)–equivalent to Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), official spokesman Abdulanasser Al Abdullatif said that foreign engineers with less than five years of professional experience would not be employed.

SCE regulates engineering and engineers in the Kingdom.

SCE decision dovetails the Labor and Social Development Ministry’s edict prohibiting the employment of expatriate engineers with less than five years experience, up from three-year criteria in the past.

The regulatory panel had already granted companies in charge of urgent projects a three-month grace period to terminate the contracts of expatriate engineers who don’t meet the five-year criteria and who were hired before the new regulations.

Employers can only hire associate engineers, whose academic degrees are accredited by an official authority in the employee’s native country and pass an assessment test.

The decision comes as the kingdom embarks on a highly-skilled, knowledge-based economy as part of the National Transformation Plan called NTP 2020–considered operational module of the Saudi Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia also seeks saudization concurrent with efforts to boost non-oil economy going forward.

“The decision aims to provide Saudi engineers the opportunity to work in the public and private sectors and gain the necessary professional experience,” said Abdullatif.

Four major senders of expat engineers–Pakistan, India, Egypt and Syria–are expected to be hit mostly by the new ruling–it has been in the works for sometime now.

According to an estimate, some 12,000 to 15,000 engineers from Pakistan are working in KSA who remit anywhere between $450 million to $550 million yearly. The GCC countries specially Saudi Arabia is main landing for unemployed engineers in Pakistan—according to an estimate, nearly 30,000 engineers remain out of gainful employment net in the country.

As of 2016, PEC had more than 125,000 engineers registered with it.






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