Employment for Saudi women is a ‘right and a necessity’

Dr. Tamader bint Youssef Al-Rammah, the deputy minister of labor and social development, speaks at the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE 2019) in Riyadh. (Photo/Social media)
Updated 12 April 2019

Employment for Saudi women is a ‘right and a necessity’

  • Labor Ministry sets 12 objectives to help more Saudis find work

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development has set itself 12 objectives as part of ambitious plans to improve its services, help more Saudis find work, guarantee a prosperous future for the country and achieve sustainable development.

The initiative, launched under the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020, part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, was announced by Dr. Tamader bint Youssef Al-Rammah, the deputy minister of labor and social development. It is part of a working paper she presented in Riyadh during a session, titled “Skills and the Future of Labor,” at the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE 2019), which was organized by the Ministry of Education.

Al-Rammah said that the ministry seeks to empower all citizens, including women and those with disabilities, who are able to work to support themselves by integrating them in the labor market.

“The ministry also endeavors to achieve higher levels of sustainable economic contribution for volunteering, increase quality volunteering opportunities for everyone who wishes to volunteer across the Kingdom, enrich their experience with volunteering by increasing the number of volunteers from 23,000 to 1 million by 2030, and improve the economic value of each volunteer from SR0.6 ($0.16) per hour to SR15 per hour,” she added.

Al-Rammah said the ministry is working to increase the focus of local companies on social responsibility by encouraging them to diversify their activities in this area, and raise the level of their contributions through the provision of community development services. It also aims to increase the nonprofit sector’s sustainable economic contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 0.3 to 0.6 percent, and the percentage of workers in the sector from 0.13 to 0.32 percent of the total workforce. 

She added that the ministry is planning to establish a national center for the development of the nonprofit sector to ensure its independence and contribution to development needs.

She said the ministry aims to help nonprofit organizations increase the social and developmental revenue from their initiatives and services; improve their efficiency; strengthen their role in providing and implementing innovative solutions to meet development challenges and needs; and create opportunities for social investment.

The ministry also plans to develop legislation and services that will empower persons with disabilities and provide them with the opportunity to integrate with and be active in society, by increasing the proportion of employed persons with disabilities from 7.7 percent to 12 percent by 2020. 

Al-Rammah said that the Authority for the Care of Persons with Disabilities has been established for this purpose, and that the ministry will launch a National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities, as the Kingdom is a member of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

She also said that employment for women is a right and a necessity, not a luxury or secondary issue in society. She pointed out that one of the objectives of the NTP 2020 is to increase the rate of participation in the labor market by women from 17 to 25 percent by empowering them, making it easy for them to perform jobs, and developing the retail sector.

“As an extension to Vision 2030, and in view of the social protection system program, Saudi Arabia seeks to develop and provide a unified comprehensive national platform for all means of support,” said Al-Rammah. 

“The platform will provide all laws, policies and programs for helping social security categories face crises, and empowering them, as well as providing them with suitable job opportunities.”


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.