JEDDAH: Jobs at shopping malls will be limited to Saudi nationals, the Labor and Social Development Ministry announced on Wednesday.
“Minister of Labor and Social Development (Ali Al-Ghofais) issued an order limiting work in closed shopping centers in Saudi Arabia to Saudi men and women,” Khalid Abalkhail, spokesperson at the ministry tweeted.
The Labor Ministry’s statement added that the new move should adhere to employing female sales assistants in women’s clothing and lingerie shops, which are mainly inside shopping malls.
The statement also said: “The decision ensures that the Labor and Social Development Minister sets a time plan for the implementation and designates the location in accordance with the market’s condition and the data of job applicants. Coordination with the Saudization committees in the regions will be carried out with regards to the implementation plans and their dates.”
The move comes in line with efforts to cut down the unemployment rate from 11.6 percent to 7 percent by 2030.
Saudis make up one-fifth of the number of workers in the retail sector in the Kingdom. According to Vision 2030 released in 2016, there are only 300,000 Saudis out of 1.5 million workers employed in the retail sector.
The Kingdom is seeking to create more than 450,000 jobs in the non-governmental sector by 2020, as per the National Transformation Program (NTP) under Saudi Vision 2030.
The vision’s report reads: “We aim to provide job opportunities for an additional million Saudis by 2020 in a growing retail sector that attracts modern, local, regional and international brands across all regions of the country.”