350,000 Saudi women are employed in private sector

350,000 Saudi women are employed in private sector
Updated 01 March 2016

350,000 Saudi women are employed in private sector

350,000 Saudi women are employed in private sector

JEDDAH: Recent statistics from the Ministry of Labor show that the Saudi private sector employed more than 350,000 women at the end of 2015, and the figure is expected to reach 450,000 by the end of 2016, a local publication reports.
According to sources quoted in the local media, the increase in female employment has been ascribed to the response made by specialized educational institutions to the needs of the labor market. These institutions introduced a set of programs and curricula capable of meeting the needs of the market. The content of their courses was chosen to conform to the needs of the market with a particular emphasis on women’s goals.
According to Hala Halawani, the director of an institute of design in Riyadh, the main objective of the institute is to enable women to receive qualitative knowledge so they can get the required skills to become international designers, and meet the needs of the Saudi labor market. “Overall, the aim is for them to become professionals in the industry,” she concluded.
Speaking about the general curriculum of study and the links with the needs of the labor market in the Kingdom, she said: “We continuously introduce international educational programs to provide women with the necessary skills to enter the labor market and compete in the world of entrepreneurship. This will help to support the national economy and provide job opportunities for girls after graduation. Recently, we opened a laboratory for jewelry design which follows international specifications for quality, for example, and we also developed a photography laboratory in line with international standards.”
She said that her institute offers training in fields required by the labor market that are not based on studies alone but on the realities on the ground. “We receive many requests for employment for our students while they are still studying. International forecasts indicate that the design industry ranked third on the list of the expected international demand for specializations by 2020,” she added.
On the social responsibility of her establishment, she added: “Although it has been only a year since we established the business, we began from the first day of operations by assuming our social responsibility and allocating study positions free of charge for talented students.”
The Ministry of Labor said in a recent report that securing suitable jobs for women was one of the most important goals for Saudi society. The ministry said it works with its partners in the labor system to provide a work environment that is safe for women and compatible with Sharia standards.
Confirming this, the ministry recently held a training workshop at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry during which it reiterated that the labor system — represented by the Ministry of Labor, the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF), the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training and the General Organization for Social Insurance — works as one unified system to support the employment of Saudis in the private sector.