Shoura: Nitaqat failed to yield desired results

Updated 16 March 2014

Shoura: Nitaqat failed to yield desired results

Shoura Council members have criticized the Labor Ministry’s Nitaqat program, saying it has failed to achieve the desired results.
“Companies manipulate the system to give the impression that they have helped Saudis get employed,” a member told the Shoura meeting.
Saeed Al-Asheikh said the achievements of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) were less than expected.
“Unemployment rates rose to 12.5 percent in 2012 despite the huge amounts of money (SR12 billion) invested with the fund,” he said.
Fahd bin Juma, another member, said the fund’s support to companies has had little impact. “The employment program is focusing on major cities, while job opportunities remain scarce in small cities,” he said. The HRDF is also facing a problem employing Saudis in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Another member said the fund’s investments, which exceed SR12 billion, had poor returns. Shoura members have questioned the fund’s relevance in light of growing unemployment. The HRDF has spent more than SR90 million on plans and studies.
Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry has said that it is planning to nationalize the retail business sector to create at least 42,000 jobs for salesmen, saleswomen and sales supervisors. The ministry expects that Saudis will be able to receive a minimum salary of SR4,500 by taking up these jobs.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the retail sector,” a ministry official said. According to a report, about 16 percent of foreign employees work in the sector. The ministry’s new move is significant in light of statistics that show that 75 percent of Saudi job seekers registered with the HRDF hold only secondary school certificates.
“We will inform Saudi job seekers about opportunities at supermarkets and other retail business areas and train them to work in sales and sale supervision,” the official said.

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.