Number of Saudis in private sector doubles in four years
Saudis working in the private sector jumped more than double to 1.7 million by the end of 2015 from around 700,000 at the end of 2011
The number of Saudis working in the private sector jumped more than double to 1.7 million by the end of 2015 from around 700,000 at the end of 2011, according to Minister of Labor Mufrej Al-Haqbani.
Addressing the Shoura Council on Tuesday, Al-Haqbani said the number of Saudi women in the private sector shot up from 50,000 to 477,000 within four years, the Saudi Press Agency reported. He said that there are around 9 million expatriates working in the private sector.
The session was chaired by the Council President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh.
According to the minister, the programs of the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) and Taqat employment centers have contributed in supporting employment of 772,000 Saudis. “Those who were employed through the Hafiz program reached 438,563 Saudis, and of this, 60 percent are women.”
Al-Haqbani said the percentage of unemployment in Saudi Arabia stood at 11.5. The minister briefed the Council on the major programs to boost Saudization and create jobs for Saudis, in addition to the ministry’s future plans.
He said the ministry has made available online service for nearly 96 percent of its customer dealings and the customers need to go directly to the labor offices for four percent of services.
Replying to questions from the Council members, Al-Haqbani said that the ministry won’t allow any firm to exploit Article 77 of the Labor Law to sack Saudi employees without touching the foreign workers.
Meanwhile, Al-Haqbani opened recently a workshop on the “Strategy to employ and activate the jobs of Saudi women” at the ministry headquarters in Riyadh.
In his speech, the minister emphasized that the appropriate environment is considered as a main factor in attracting women to the private sector. “The ministry is determined to make available all the components that provide them suitable environment for work and productivity, and that is in line with the Shariah regulations and the safe working conditions in the private sector,” he said adding that the ministry won’t show any leniency toward firms that violate the regulations with regard to feminization of women accessory shops.
This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 27, 2016.
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