In light of evidence that Saudization, or the policy of requiring companies to hire Saudi nationals, has largely failed, the Ministry of Labor has decided to create recruitment companies to rectify the problem. The companies will be under the auspices of the Human Resources Development Fund.
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Dr. Fahd Al-Tekhafi, assistant undersecretary for development, described the labor ministry’s plans at a workshop addressing the impact of state aid on the Saudization process. According to him, the new recruitment companies will work with Saudis who are new to the labor market in order to find suitable employment for them. The companies will also provide job training in order to make their clients more marketable. Dr. Al-Tekhafi added that the companies would complement other labor ministry programs intended to decrease unemployment in Saudi Arabia. Participants at the workshop expressed disappointment in current ministry programs intended to help young Saudis find jobs, saying that more needed to be done to improve the situation in the short-term. They also suggested that the educational system needs to be improved, especially the level of English-language instruction. Despite a growing economy, Saudi Arabia suffers from a chronic problem of high unemployment. Companies often prefer to hire employees from abroad, finding that expatriates come with a stronger skill set. At the same time, Saudi nationals have a strong preference for working in the private sector, where the pay and benefits are higher.
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