Saudi labor minister says delayed wages are a no-no

He said the ministry is keen to use all options to ensure dignified jobs with attractive salaries for Saudis

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Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih emphasized that the ministry will not tolerate either delaying salaries or denying rights of workers, saying there was no justification for such practices.

Addressing the last session of the two-day economic forum in the city of Jazan on Thursday, he said the ministry is keen to use all options to ensure dignified jobs with attractive salaries for Saudis.

Speaking on the topic of human resources development, Fakeih said that the ministry is exerting all efforts to develop the Saudi human resources to enable them to take up challenges in the employment market, dominated by expatriates from 180 countries.

A large number of educated young Saudi men and women graduates enter the employment market seeking suitable placements every year.

“The number of Saudi jobseekers is much higher than the available job opportunities, and they are facing stiff competition in the local market.

The ministry came out with a series of measures to enable them to counter the challenges through Nitaqat program, unemployment allowance and other incentives,” he said.

Fakeih said that the ministry’s thrust is in replacing low-skilled and low-paid jobs with high-skilled jobs plus attractive salary.

“The ministry is striving to train Saudis in highly skilled jobs even by using robots. More than 10,000 young Saudis have been registered for training under the Duroob program.”

He also encouraged young men and women to set up small firms and engage in part-time jobs during their vacation.

Other speakers of the session with the topic of “Investment in skills and human resources development” were Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority who spoke on the "Role of economic cities in developing human resources', and Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid Al-Falih who talked on "Workforce for the future: A corporate responsibility".

Al-Othman said that SAGIA is offering world-class competitive environment for investors. He unveiled plans for investment atlas.

Abdulrahman Al-Jafari, former governor of the Saudi Commission for Communication and Information Technology, was the moderator.

Closing remarks of the forum was made by Abed Al-Saadoun deputy minister of petroleum for the affairs of companies.

At the concluding session, Jazan Emir Prince Mohammed Bin Nasser expressed his hopes that the Jazan Economic City (JEC) would be the first giant economic project to be opened during the time of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

The emir also opened the gate for investors at the Jazan Economic City portal. There were eight sessions at the two-day event.

The first session titled on “on Jazan Economic City: Vision, strategy and value proposition”was moderated by Khalid Alskait of King Saud University.

Suleman Bargan, general manager of Jazan Refinery Complex, presented a paper on “An extraordinary investment in world-class infrastructure” while Jose Alberich’s paper was on “Value proposition based on strong anchor industries” and Chris Chao of AECO was on the topic of “The master plan for Jazan Economic City.”

The topic of second session was “Jazan investment climate: Incentives, catalysts and global outlook.” Fahad Alturki, chief economist of Jadwa Investment, moderated the session, in which Abdulrahman Al-Zamil, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers spoke on “Investment opportunities in developing regions” and Mohanud Helal, secretary general of Economic City Authority, presented a paper on “Ease of doing business: One stop shop.”

Nasser Moraya, chairman of Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke on the topic of “Jazan: The local advantage” while the topic of Abdulwahab Abu Dahesh of Riyadh chamber was “Local partnerships for global competition.”

“Pioneer investors” was the topic of the third session in which NaifAzyabi of Jazan University was the moderator.

The speakers were Shoeil Al-Ayed, CEO of SOLB Steel Company (Steel: Laying the foundation for the future at JEC), Fadi Trabzuni, vice president of CRYSTAL (From the world to Jazan), Hussein Fayz, managing director of Namariq Arabian Services (Housing the workforce), and Nayef Al-Anazi, consultant at the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerale (Petroleum Ministry’s efforts in bringing pioneer investors to JEC).

Saleh Al-Nazha moderated the fourth session with the topic of “Leveraging public-private partnerships.” Yaser Mufti, general manager of New Business Development at Saudi Aramco, presented a paper on “Pursuing excellence in entrepreneurship & SMEs development” while Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, founder of Almobda Industrial Company, presented a paper on “Building a diversified economy” while the paper of Azzam Shalabi was on “Leveraging national programs for maximum impact.” and Mubarak Al-Dossary, consultant at the Ministry of Petroleum spoke on “Incentives offered by the Saudi government.”

There was an Arabic poetry event to mark the end of the first day’s event. The second day of the forum started with the fifth session, which dealt extensively with the mining resources in Jazan and the adjacent regions.

The session was moderated by Khalid Al-Ohali, vice president of Maaden, and the speakers of the session were Sultan J. Shawli, deputy minister for mineral resources (mining investment opportunities in Jazan and adjacent region), and Abdullah Al-Attas, assistant president for technical affairs at Saudi Geological Survey (The role of Saudi Geological Survey in the development of Jazan region).

The sixth session with the topic of “Realizing community partnerships,” was moderated by Abdulelah Al Sheikh, chairman of TALAL International Holding.

The session was addressed by Mohammad Al-Shaya, mayor of Jazan (The perfect blend of old and new), Rostam Al-Kebaisi, general manager of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities in Jazan (A most beautiful place), and Ahmad Al-Gonfathy, general secretary of Jazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Comparative advantage, models of investment opportunities).

“Investing in skills: Powering high industries and value jobs” was the theme of the seventh session, moderated by Mohammed S. Al Badr, managing director of Saudi Chemical Company.

Ahmad Al-Humaidan, deputy minister of labor for employment policies spoke on the topic of “Workforce: Feedstock for the 21st century” and other speakers of the session were Nabil Al-Dabal, general manager of training and development at Saudi Aramco (Skills on demand: A success story), Ali Alareshi of Jazan University (Higher education: A pillar of regional competitiveness), Ali Al-Ghafis, governor of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (Partnership for Human Resources Development), and Abdulkareem Al Nijadi, executive deputy general manager, Human Resources Development Fund (Saudi youth: The pipeline for Saudization).

A keynote speech on “Jazan a gateway to two continents: Asia and Africa” was delivered by Najy Benhassine of World Bank.

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