RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has begun implementing the localization of customer services sectors across all the regions as the grace period given to businesses for implementing the scheme comes to an end.
In a statement issued on its Twitter handle, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said that the first phase of the scheme to localize all employment related to customer services is now active.
The HRSD ministry said the scheme to localize 100 percent of customer service jobs encompassed establishments providing customer service as a main or supportive activity, or outsourcing services to another party serving customers through means of communication, including leadership and supervisory positions.
In a separate tweet, the ministry said that the second phase of localizing legal professions has also been implemented.
The second phase, which targets all law firms and legal consultancy offices, both private and public, throughout the Kingdom, aims to localize 70 percent of the total number of workers.
The ministry has pledged to provide an incentive and support package to help private sector institutions in the transition.
Speaking of the localization of sectors and professions in October, the HRSD Minister Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi said that these decisions have contributed to raising the number of Saudi workers in the private sector to over 2.12 million.
Additionally, the decisions contributed to reducing the unemployment rate of Saudi citizens to 9.7 percent, as well as increasing the women’s economic participation rate to 35.6 percent.
Al-Rajhi added that private sector establishments’ compliance rate with the labor system and its regulations has reached 98 percent during this year.
Across the board, authorities and ministries are also implementing Saudization initiatives.
This aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030 goal to reduce unemployment rates by increasing employment opportunities in the Kingdom.
Saudization is officially known as the Saudi nationalization scheme, Nitaqat.
The Kingdom's efforts to create more jobs in line with Vision 2030 are showing fruition with the country coming first in the labor force growth rate among the Group of 20 countries during the period 2012 - 2021, according to a recent report launched by the National Labor Observatory.
According to Saudi Arabia's Central Department of Statistics and Information, the unemployment rate in the Kingdom decreased to 5.80 percent in the second quarter of 2022, from 6 percent in the first quarter of 2022.
To achieve its Vision 2030 goals, Saudi Arabia is not only encouraging the recruitment of nationals to private sector jobs, but is also encouraging adequate investment in their future to ensure their retention by employers as well as their contribution to a vibrant and diverse economy.