Shoura: Nitaqat failed to yield desired results

Updated 16 March 2014

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.


First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

Updated 55 min 21 sec ago

First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

RIYADH: The first plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Lebanon on Friday for victims of Beirut’s port explosion, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) said.

Two planes departed from King Khalid International Airport on Friday carrying more than 120 tons of medical supplies, tents, shelter kits and food for those affected by the blast. A specialized team from the center to follow up and supervise the distribution operations were also on board the planes.

The aid aims to help victims overcome the effects of the explosion, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief.

Al-Rabeeah stated that the directive of King Salman embodies the established humanitarian values of the Saudi leadership, stressing that this assistance highlights the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.