It is common knowledge that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to one of the largest expatriate workforces in the world. The booming economy, immense oil wealth, and overall business feasibility have allowed the once desert land to become the modern metropolis land consisting of huge towers, skyscrapers. With such viable employment opportunities in both the private and public sector, you would think that all the native Saudis are employed and there is no need for such a large expatriate workforce except for the housemaids and domestic workers. However, this is not true as the majority of native Saudis only want the government or public sector jobs, which of course cannot be done due to the limited number of employment opportunities that arise in the public sector.[irp]
Several economists from inside and outside the Kingdom has stated that the expatriates are more capable of meeting the demands of the job market in Saudi Arabia, rather than the local Saudis. Renowned economist Ihsan Buhulaiqa has stated that the job market in Saudi Arabia is completely capable of employing each and every job seeker of Saudi origin. However, another great issue for the employment of Saudis is that the Saudis do not meet the job market demands of Saudi Arabia. Buhulaiqa stated that the job market has been looking for 1.2 million competent workers, 500,000 specialists, and 600,000 vocational workers. In the current scenario, the expatriate workforce has completely dominated these positions.
Around 93 percent of the Saudis who graduate from the technical training institutes have been employed. He added that an astounding sum of SAR 140 billion had been spent on the expatriate workforce in 2014 alone. The Council of Ministers has also come to a decision to form a commission whose main purpose would be to generate jobs and combat unemployment with recommendations of top economists. The commission will act as a liaison between the educational institutions and the job market in order to ensure that the job market requirements are met.
Buhulaiqa stated that this commission has been formed recently and is working hand in hand with the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. The commission is not only going to be a Saudi employment commission but will also take into account the qualifications, training, and development of skills in the Saudi graduates. The commission will be conducting studies according to cities as the requirements vary with each city.[irp]
Fahd Al Otaibi, the spokesman for the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation stated that female and male graduates of the TVTC programs have been in demand by the public and private sector. He added that around 7 percent of the graduates remain as job seekers after graduation. This new commission will help the Labor Ministry in tackling the employment issue.
Even though the commission is important and sounds promising since it is not a ministry, the bureaucracy will not be weighing it down and this will, in turn, allow it to function appropriately.
Source: Saudi Gazette