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Nitaqat program seeks to lower unemployment rate to 9% by 2020

The new version of the Nitaqat program encourages establishments to provide employment to the Saudis. (SPA)

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) said the Nitaqat nationalization program aims to provide job opportunities for Saudi nationals and reduce the unemployment rate from 12.1 to 9 percent and boost the percentage of women in the Saudi workforce to 28 percent by 2020.
The Nitaqat program seeks to increase the number of Saudis in the labor market through changing the Saudization percentage required to achieve in specific sector, according to the program.
The realization of these quotas should be higher than 65 percent of establishments falling in safe zones and less than 35 percent of establishments in non-safe zones.
The program also aims to enhance jobs for Saudi nationals through aligning the quality of nationalization with a range of incentives given by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).
Establishments that offer good packages for Saudis would be eligible to a group of HRDF support programs based on their accomplishment of the required points that are calculated under the “guided support program,” This includes the nationalization rate, average wage of Saudis, percentage of Saudi female staff, job stability and percentage of Saudis with high salaries.
The ministry said the new version of the Nitaqat program encourages establishments to provide employment to the Saudis as it classifies companies into four groups depending on their nationalization percentage.
The ministry emphasized that the initiative would improve the performance of the labor market and raise quality of employment, generate decent work for sons and daughters of the Kingdom, create attractive and safe work environment and curb unproductive nationalization.
Additionally, the program would provide training and rehabilitation programs for Saudi nationals with the aim of meeting the needs of the Saudi labor market and achieving job stability.

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