New rules and regulations for the expat works and service providers are on and off in the news. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) is keen to give more and more job opportunities to locals than the expats.
Now the ministry has targeted the expat engineers. The MLSD and Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE), declared that they both have agreed that only those expat engineers shall be hired who have a work experience of 5 years and more. It demanded that recruitment of foreign engineers who have less than 5 years of work experience shall be stopped immediately.[irp]
Engineering companies involved in urgent projects have been given a three-month deadline to terminate the contracts of inexperienced engineers who applied for recruitment before the decision. We believe that inexperienced here pertains to the engineers with less than 5 years of experience. However, it applies only to those engineering companies who are involved in urgent projects.
This is a revision to the former Saudi Council of Engineering statement that required an expat engineer to have an experience of 3 years. The rule which was announced a few months ago also required expat engineers to go through the exam and an interview. However, now the required experience has increased to 5 years.
Also, they declared that the newly hired expatriate engineers shall now give an SCE Test to continue their services. They will have to pass a professional Test for Engineers and go through an SCE based interview. Only when they pass the exam and prove themselves capable, they will be allowed to serve in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Jameel Al-Baq’awi who is the chairman of the SCE and Dr. Ahmed Al-Qattan who is the current undersecretary for labor policies in the ministry said that this is a step towards promoting local engineers both in the government and the private sectors.
They warned the engineers of playing fraud. Any engineer found being equipped with false work experience documents shall go through penalty and legal action. It should be noted that the Saudi government has placed heavy penalties and punishments for fake degree holders.
In the previous few months, Saudi Government has taken many steps to improve employment among Saudis. In this regard, they also announced that there will be No More University jobs for Expatriates if Saudis are already available to serve the university in that particular field.
A few months ago, Saudi government also published that all expatriates in the government sector would be terminated by 2020. The Saudi government would be operating without expatriates in the coming years. It is in continuation of the steps taken to pursue vision 2030.
In the same way, Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia has also announced that they will not be hiring any expatriate doctors in the government sector if Saudi doctors are available to take the seats. I believe that it is their right being the citizens of the country to employ those positions.[irp]
In the end, I would like to tell all my expatriate brothers and sisters to make sure that they have a backup plan in their pocket. All of us have met some people who have spent their entire life in Saudi Arabia but it is very unlikely to happen in your case. Don’t fully rely on your job in Saudi Arabia.
Source: Saudi Gazette