HRDF report: Few jobs for women, disabled

Updated 11 May 2016

HRDF report: Few jobs for women, disabled

JEDDAH: The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), in its annual report tabled recently at the Shoura Council, has taken serious note of less jobs available for women and handicapped citizens.
The challenges include lack of transport, companies having inadequate facilities, and Saudis preferring government jobs.
In addition, many citizens do not have the skills to apply for jobs, such as writing a resume, or do not have qualifications for certain positions, according to a local media report recently.
The HRDF has suggested that measures must be introduced to create jobs for women and people with disabilities in rural areas, including working from home. There also has to be statistics compiled on how much expatriates earn in relation to Saudis.
Shoura member Prince Khalid Al-Saud said the Taqat program has only matched 4 percent of applicants with jobs suitable for them. The HRDF’s ability to reduce unemployment must be reviewed, he said.
He said 81,000 young men and 700,000 women applied, with 25 percent of men found jobs, while less than 2 percent of women were employed. In addition, more people received support under the Hafiz program than those who found employment. He said this raised serious questions about the training provided for applicants, and whether this matched the needs of the labor market. The HRDF had spent more than SR5 billion on training 250,000 people, he said.
Mohammad Al-Raheili said he was concerned about the delays in providing awards for teachers at private schools. This was resulting in more resignations and teachers seeking better prospects in the public sector. Member Abdullah Al-Jighman said the fund should have produced a report about job turnover, particularly since 33 percent of those who received training left the private sector to find jobs in the government sector.


GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic and defense integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

“The leaders of the GCC countries have affirmed today their keenness to preserve the strength, cohesion and strength of the GCC …  as an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace,” the statement said.

It referred to attacks in the last year against Saudi Arabia, including coordinated missile and drone strikes against major oil facilities blamed on Iran.

The statement said the GCC states “stand unified against the attacks” and that this reflected the Gulf defense agreement that says “aggression against a member state would be considered as aggression against all the GCC states.”

“The highest goal of the Cooperation Council is to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the member states in all fields in order to reach their unity,” it said.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

He said the current set of challenges “call for concerted efforts to confront them.”

“The Iranian regime continues its hostile actions to undermine security and stability and support terrorism,” the king said.

He said the GCC must “work with the international community to stop the interference of this regime, deal seriously with its nuclear program and the program to develop ballistic missiles.”

There was no mention in the final communique of the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries. 

But Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah was the most senior Qatari official to attend the GCC summit since 2017 - the same year Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups among other things.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success.”

Al-Zayani, who is stepping down as secretary general, said all the GCC leaders had praised the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait in preserving the unity of the cooperation. 

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.