Women’s employment needs ‘surgical intervention’

Women’s employment needs ‘surgical intervention’
Updated 17 December 2015

Women’s employment needs ‘surgical intervention’

Women’s employment needs ‘surgical intervention’

JEDDAH: Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani has blamed a number of sectors for unemployment among Saudi women which was 15 percent in 2014 and increased to 32 percent this year.
He said the most important is the private sector which should put greater trust in Saudi woman and integrate her into the labor market according to the required demands.
He said the case of women in the private sector needs "surgical intervention" by the ministries and other parties concerned because unemployment among them has shot up by 100 percent this year over last.
"The government will launch a set of programs for the employment of Saudi women in different professions in the private sector in coming weeks," he said. "I reject putting women in special sectors termed as 'sellers only'."
He said there are plans to establish colleges of excellence in cooperation with the private sectors to attract world cadres to train Saudi youth. "This will be done through drawing up studies and mechanisms of training, and by the time the training is complete, there will be an employment position," the minister said, pointing out there are Saudi experts in private sector facilities who are capable of training national cadres.
Al-Haqabani added the ministry's long-distance program will aid female employment through incentives and through supporting small projects. This will help them get jobs other than as saleswomen.
He added women are indeed being listed in new evaluation mechanisms in the 3rd edition of Nitaqat program which will be launched soon and where facilities will be evaluated and classified by a number of criteria in which women will take part for the first time.
The labor minister said an employment channel would be launched soon. He added that the number of those benefiting from Hafez is more than 2.5 million. Not all have not found jobs but most of them would like to get jobs in public education.
The Department of General Statistics and Information recorded high unemployment among Saudis at 11.7 percent in 2014 compared to 11.5 percent in 2013. It showed that the average unemployment among Saudi women was 32.8 percent in 2015 while it was 5.9 percent for men.
The average rate of unemployment in the Eastern Province, Al-Jouf and Asir is less than 10 percent, and in Makkah, Al-Qassim and Tabuk up to 12 percent. Hail, Madinah and Najran have 13 to 15 percent unemployment, while in Riyadh it is more than 15 percent.