Govt mulls raising Saudization rate in pharmacies by 5%

Govt mulls raising Saudization rate in pharmacies by 5%
Updated 19 January 2016

Govt mulls raising Saudization rate in pharmacies by 5%

Govt mulls raising Saudization rate in pharmacies by 5%

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor is eyeing on private pharmacies to increase Saudization by 5 percent across about 8,000 pharmacies in the country.

In cooperation with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the ministry is studying obstacles to employment in the pharmaceutical sector in order to increase Saudization rate, according to the chairman of the Committee on Pharmacies at JCCI, Dr. Yousef Al-Harthy.
Al-Harthy said the committee is conducting studies to find additional means to increase employment, noting that the sector faces serious challenges that limit increases to Saudization.
These include limited numbers of graduates from universities and pharmaceutical training institutes, as out of 1,100 graduates annually, the majority pursue foreign scholarships or jobs in the public or military sector.
Other challenges include limited titles at private pharmacies, as well as low salaries, which are about SR7,000 for graduates and SR11,000 for employees with experience, as compared to SR9,000 and SR18,000, respectively, in other sectors.
According to the director of employment affairs a private pharmacy, who preferred not to reveal his name, the private sector is considered unattractive to university graduates and graduates of institutes due to few employment opportunities, low salaries and incentives, and titles limited to only “pharmacist.”
He said 85 percent of graduates choose the public or military sector, and said more must be done to establish additional training institutes and universities that specialize in human medicine and pharmacology in order to meet demands.
Investments in the private pharmaceutical sector are more than SR4 billion, while revenues are as high as SR12 billion.