The decision to reserve remote customer service jobs to Saudi Arabians came into effect on Sunday as part of efforts to provide dozens of new work opportunities for citizens, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced.
“The decision will contribute to providing many job opportunities in the customer service sector, as it comes as part of the ministry’s efforts to localize professions [in the country],” the ministry said in a statement.
The decision applies to all establishments operating in the labor market, according to the ministry.
All remote customer service jobs – whether done by phone, email, chat, social media, or in person – must employ only Saudi Arabian citizens, the ministry said.
The move also falls under the ministry’s agreement with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, as well as the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) and the Communications and Information Technology Commission to hire citizens in the communication and IT sectors.
“It aims to provide customer service sector employees access to suitable jobs and provide an appropriate and stimulating work environment for them in the private sector, as well as improve the customer service experience in the Kingdom,” the statement added.
Saudi Arabia has increasingly sought to localize more jobs over the years in an effort to increase employment among its citizens and provide better job opportunities.
The Kingdom has plans to reduce unemployment to 7 percent by 2030 as part of its Vision 2030 economic reform plans.
The plan – put forth by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – aims to diversify the country’s economy and establish millions of new jobs.
Unemployment among citizens dropped to 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 from 12.6 percent at the end of 2020, official data showed in June.