Shortage of Saudi women for textiles, tailoring jobs
Tailor shops are currently operated by male expatriates
The Ministry of Labor faces a shortage of qualified Saudi women to replace expatriates in the textiles and tailoring industries, al-Watan reported.
The Ministry of Labor began implementing the third stage of its plan to improve employment opportunities for women that involves creating jobs for them in the retail industry, including tailor shops.
Tailor shops are currently operated by male expatriates, many of them illegally resident, and many customers complained about the uncontrolled prices of these businesses.
Many have urged the ministry to implement its plans quickly so the tailoring industry does not have any illegal expatriates.
However, industry experts said there are not enough qualified women to work as tailors at the moment.
They also claimed Saudi women are put off by the long hours. There were doubts over whether the ministry included such businesses managed by male expatriates in its plan, they said.
Sources at the Ministry of Labor said the government department has a plan to train and qualify Saudi women in the textiles and tailoring industry.
Experts said the Saudization of the industry would provide thousands of job opportunities for Saudi women.
Women will be able to design and tailor for each other in conformity to their culture’s gender sensitivities, they said.
The Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s women tailors committee head Aseel Sultan said there is a shortage of Saudi women in the sector.
The ministry must train enough Saudi women before Saudizing the industry, she said.
She said: “The shortage we have is due to the fact that the Saudi society is not very welcoming to the idea of women specializing in beauty and women care.
“The working hours of the field are mostly part-time and not many Saudi women would agree to that, not to mention that this industry is the busiest during holidays and national occasions. “Many woman would like to be home with their families during those times.”
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette, Dec. 9, 2014.
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