Firms use visually impaired to meet Saudization quota

Updated 03 May 2014

Firms use visually impaired to meet Saudization quota

Unscrupulous employers are using citizens with visual disabilities to hike their Saudization quotas by either employing them without their knowledge, or for a pittance.
Mohammed Al-Shwimman, director of the Kafif Charity Society, revealed this on Thursday at a press conference to announce job creation initiatives for people with visual disabilities in the country.
Al-Shwimman said many people with visual disabilities are employed but do not receive salaries. He said many others have resigned from their jobs because their employers have failed to provide them with adequate work environments.
He said the charity is currently setting up a database of people with visual disability in the country to check on their employment status.
The Ministry of Labor counts a special needs employee as four Saudis toward Saudization quotas. Once companies make the quota, they are allowed to employ foreigners. However, many companies employ these people with minimal salaries to stay at home.
Nasser bin Ali Al-Musa, chairman of the Kafif society and a member of the Shoura Council, confirmed that many companies are involved in these illegal practices. This is taking place because many employers believe that people with visual disabilities are unable to work.
According to government statistics released in 2013, the majority of the Kingdom’s 375,795 registered persons with disabilities are neglected and often exploited.
According to reports, there is a lack of coordination between the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs, and the private sector, to help these people.
There is no governing body for such people, which means an absence of classifications on the exact nature of their disabilities. There are also no records kept of their personal skills and abilities.
In addition, with no laws to protect them from exploitation in the workplace, people with disabilities are often deprived of promotions and other benefits regardless of their educational qualifications or job performance.
It was found that once employers use them to meet Saudization quotas they neglect them or force them to resign.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”