More job opportunities fail to lift Saudi spirits



JEDDAH: DIANA AL-JASSEM

Published — Thursday 1 August 2013

Last update 12 August 2013 10:27 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Many Saudis and expatriates are not optimistic about their employment prospects this year, despite a survey by a recruitment company that firms are looking for workers.
The Middle East Jobs Index Survey 2013 by Bayt.com was conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, identify trends and provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the Middle East job market.
This is the first index of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The survey was completed in January and confirmed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the two top job markets in MENA.
The report found that there is expected to be a 22 and 24 percent growth in the demand for business and engineering graduates and postgraduates respectively this year.
However, many qualified Saudis are not confident that they will find jobs in the domestic market.
Saudis claim that expatriates dominate the market and will continue to get the high-paying jobs. In contrast, expatriates complain that they are unlikely to find work because of the Kingdom’s Saudization strategy and new labor laws.
Abdulrahman Al-Malik, a Saudi entrepreneur working in the auto parts sector, said that even though the country has a huge job market, various factors would make it difficult for Saudis to find work.
“I struggled to find work when I graduated from engineering college at King Abdulaziz University. After searching for two years, I found a job with a very famous construction group. I suffered there because I discovered that my certificate was not enough, the expatriate engineers were performing much better than me. I was not lazy but I found that what I studied at the university was nothing compared to the expats,” he said.
“I am not optimistic about the recent survey that says more job opportunities will be available in the Kingdom. Even when there are many opportunities, there are also many factors that make it hard for young Saudis to find work.”
Lujain Fuad, a Syrian business development officer at a private construction company, said that even with many jobs available, expatriates are likely to struggle because of Saudization, low wages and the labor laws.
“For years Saudi Arabia attracted foreigners who dominated the market and received high salaries. The situation has changed recently because the new Saudi generation is well educated, independent and committed,” she said.
“I don’t expect a better situation for expats because the new labor laws are restricting opportunities and fees are increasing the cost of expatriate workers.”
Fuad said the new tax has seen many companies pay expatriates less. “Most companies are paying lower wages and claiming that they have to pay high fees,” she said.
The survey found that multinational companies are likely to increase hiring by 62 percent in 2013, but Saudis claim that many of these companies are more likely to hire expatriates.
“We can’t depend on the high demand for employees from multinational companies because these companies prefer to hire expats,” said Khaled Al-Sha’er, a Saudi executive at a private insurance company. “When they do offer jobs to nationals, it’s almost always low-paying ones such as sales representative, secretary, security guard or driver.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Three citizens, aged above 65, and a 32-year-old expatriate have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Riyadh raising the death toll to 471 in Saudi Arabia since June 2012, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.It also reported...
JEDDAH: Five hospitals and health centers across the Kingdom have been ranked among the 10 top hospitals in the Arab World, according to the Webometrics Ranking of World Hospitals 2015 conducted by Cybermetrics Lab. King Faisal Specialist Hospital an...
RIYADH: The children of the martyrs and wounded soldiers will be given preference for jobs in the organization, KACST President Prince Turki bin Saud Bin Mohammad Al-Saud said Riyadh on Tuesday.On an initiative from the Ministry of Education, a two-d...
JEDDAH: The laboratory of Al-Amal Complex for Mental Health was recently ranked fifth in the RIQAS program for biochemistry out of 120 laboratories. It also came in sixth in the same program for the department of hematology among the 60 participants,...
RIYADH: Anticipating high temperatures during the Haj season, the Ministry of Health has made arrangements to install more equipment to treat heatstroke patients among pilgrims, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Al-Mirghalani said following a meeting...
RIYADH: The National Water Company (NWC) has added a new feather to its cap by launching an e-branch (website www.nwc.com.sa) to serve the customers around the clock.The NWC, which aims to become the leading water utility in the Gulf that comes under...
DAMMAM: Traffic regulations in the Kingdom and many countries of the world dedicate the right lane of highways and roads to trucks as they are designed to carry heavy weights in contrast to the other lanes, which are allocated for lighter weight vehi...
RIYADH: The solar-power plant, “Layla,” in Aflaj province, will be opened shortly, Saleh Al-Awaji, chairman of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), has said.The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is one of the signatories, along with King Abdulaziz City for...
RIYADH: The expanded facility for machine readable passports (MRPs) at the Embassy of Pakistan will help the mission process over 1,200 applications on daily basis. The new setup was inaugurated on Tuesday.Saudi Arabia hosts the largest Pakistan comm...
RIYADH: The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) has directed manufacturers and their agents in the Kingdom to strictly follow the safety regulations for the new cars to be marketed to the Kingdom beginning 2017.In a statement r...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Social Affairs recently honored 20 academically gifted orphans whom it had earlier sent to Japan for ten days to visit attractions that include cultural and educational institutions. Ministry of Social Affairs Undersecretary D...
JEDDAH: Prince Bandar bin Abdullah, member of the board of trustees of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Foundation for Humanitarian Action, spoke at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the invi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Health has issued a circular to all health sector employees to ensure they sterilize their hands prior to dealing with patients.The circular, issued by Deputy Minister for Public Health Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah bin Saeed, is in...
JEDDAH: The Indonesian Consulate and community have been conducting their 70th Independence Day celebrations for the past three months by having different cultural and social activities. On Tuesday, the consulate arranged a blood donation camp with t...
JEDDAH: The Specialized Penal Court in Jeddah on Tuesday issued a preliminary verdict on the imprisonment of two Saudi suspects to 38 years.The first suspect was charged with firing on the police center in Awamiyah, Qatif Province, while the other wa...

Stay Connected

Facebook