RIYADH: Saudi Arabia introducing skills assessment for labor workers is a welcome move and an important step in regularizing the labor market, a number of foreign embassies in Riyadh have said.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD) recently launched the “Professional Verification” program in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation to ensure the competence of skilled workers in the Saudi labor market.
The program, which starts in July, will examine all skilled workers in their home country before their arrival in the Kingdom, in cooperation with selected international examination centers. It will also examine existing skilled workers in the Kingdom.
Madhuka Wickramarachchi, charge d’affaires at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh, told Arab News: “The professional verification program launched by the government of Saudi Arabia is a welcome move and an important step in dealing with regularizing the Saudi labor market and curbing unskilled or irregular migrant inflows. Under this program, the migrant worker’s specialized skill set will be verified through a global testing scale such as National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), which is being granted through assessment and training, before his/her arrival.”
“We believe that this will uplift the quality of professionals who are coming from the labor-sending countries such as Sri Lanka, and at the same time will provide them with recognition, stability and growth in their respective professions,” he said.
The Indonesian Embassy told Arab News: “The embassy notes the development with regards to the Professional Verification Program to verify the qualification for skilled labor to enter and work in the Kingdom.”
“Be that as it may, the embassy looks forward to such programs being conducted in the sending countries prior to the departure of such skilled workers. In so doing, this would also help to ensure that not only the qualified skilled labor will be sent to work in the Kingdom, but also to avoid the hassle of having to send the candidates back to their home countries should they be deemed unqualified,” it said.
“Should the program be conducted in the sending countries, it will also help to assist the sending countries in preparing all the candidates with ample skills as required by the Kingdom before they could take the verification process,” it added. The embassy looked forward to having better understanding and fruitful cooperation in this area, it said.
The Pakistan Embassy said that it would fully enforce the requirements of the newly launched professional verification program to equip members of the labor force with the latest skills so that they could perform better.