Expat exodus fails to generate jobs for Saudis

Unemployment rate remains 12.9 percent

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By Ali Al-Rubaee

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

BAHA
– The General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) has stated that more than 234,000 expats have left the Kingdom in the first quarter of this year at a rate of 2,602 people daily but it did not help decrease the unemployment rate among Saudis, which stood at 12.9 percent.

The official statistics show that the Labor and Social Development Ministry has failed to bring down unemployment rate among Saudi men and women.

GaStat pointed out that more than 320,000 non-Saudis who have crossed the age of 60 are still working in the Kingdom with their names registered with the General Organization for Social Insurance.

Moreover, there are 2.4 million expats who work as support engineers against 221,000 Saudis. At the same time, Saudi engineers complain they are not getting jobs.

The number of foreigners who work as technicians reached more than 488,000 against 206,000 Saudis, said the report. Expats who hold the position of technical specialists reached more than 288,000 against 164,100 Saudis, it pointed out.

The number of recruitment visas issued by government sectors in the first quarter of this year reached 14,352 including 5,920 visas to recruit expat women. The private sector on the other hand issued 105,900 visas to recruit expats for various jobs.

More than 159,000 Saudis hold managerial and executive jobs while only 65,000 non-Saudis hold such high positions in public and private institutions, the report said.

Non-Saudis hold several jobs in sales, services, agriculture and animal and poultry farms. They also hold industrial, chemical, engineering and technical jobs in large numbers.

Othman Bin Saleh compared jobless Saudis to fruitless trees that are used for decoration purposes. “Although my children have received good education they have not yet received suitable jobs in the public or private sector,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

In the past government departments were competing with one another to employ Saudis despite their poor educational qualifications. “Now things have changed,” he said.

Former Minister of Labor Ghazi Al-Gosaibi had emphasized the need to change school textbooks and develop vocational and technical training centers to qualify Saudis for the job market.

The late minister had also called upon educational institutions to create a student-friendly atmosphere in order to develop their professional skills and capabilities.


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