Saudi youth need to expand career options

Saudi youth need to expand career options
Updated 05 February 2014

Saudi youth need to expand career options

Saudi youth need to expand career options

Saudis need to change their perception of certain professions in order to reduce reliance on expat workers in the long-run, many prominent businessmen have said.
Expanding the job search has been a dilemma for Saudi youth, as they refuse to take up certain jobs for fear of being looked down upon.
“It has been my experience in Saudi Arabia that young women and men do not know what their professional interests are, and so they take up any job they can find,” says Noura Al-Turki, HR and CSR executive manager at Nesma Holding Co. Ltd.
“When they are not satisfied with their experience, they often leave and remain unemployed for a long time.”
Al-Turki says that specialists need to work with youth to help them discover their interests and explore jobs that are fulfilling for them and not just to live up to society’s expectations.
“A recent study revealed that engaging in extensive self-development is the most successful method for getting and keeping a job and results in an 86-percent success rate in employment. We really need to help young Saudis discover their passions. When we do that, the taboos associated with certain jobs will definitely fade.”
The government recently took measures to attract Saudis to the private sector. Although the majority of Saudis remain dissatisfied with jobs available in the sector due to the long working hours and low pay, companies in the private sector need to hire Saudis to win government contracts.
According to employers, Saudi youth need to put in more effort in their jobs.
“It is very important for Saudi youth to expand their career options, as the market remains diverse and has many opportunities,” says Nouf Mohammad Al-Marwaai, director of Naturopathy Co. Ltd., a medical firm, and director of Nouf International Co. Ltd., a trade firm.
Al-Marwaai adds that expanding the industrial field through youth will add value to the market and enhance the local industry. “We need their creativity and productivity,” he said.
“I think that Saudi youth just need to give themselves a chance. Such jobs need hands-on experience to be able to derive immediate job satisfaction,” says Al-Marwaai.
“It is a different way to enhance productivity, which also gives them a chance to be creative and to change their environment. It helps them be involved in building their own country’s infrastructure and enhancing their knowledge instead of just supervising. This is one way of controlling quality and outcomes and reducing dependence on outside sources.”
Al-Marwaai says the Kingdom needs to educate youth on productivity and independence. “We need to teach them the beauty of productivity and the importance of creativity. Self-development and cognitive development are very important. Once they understand this, they will know the value of adding their effort and manpower to their own market and building their own country,” he said.