Shoura: Nitaqat failed to yield desired results

Updated 16 March 2014
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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.


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 17 min 7 sec ago
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”