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Saudi Arabia – Nationals shun ‘low end’ jobs

16 June 2014

The Training and Recruitment Centre at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) announced that there were 11,751 jobs allocated for Saudi nationals across 70 private sector firms, but only 1,760 jobseekers responded to interview calls, reports arabnews.com.

It is unclear over what period of time the 11,751 jobs were allocated.

Based on data released by the private sector firms, the salaries for the positions ranged from SAR 4,000 (USD 1,066) to SAR 10,000 (USD 2,666) per month. The jobs offered covered a variety of fields; including accountancy, finance, engineering, data entry, electronic maintenance, technical support, marketing, health, security, driving, welding, and air conditioning.

Mohamed Al-Kithairi, Secretary-General of RCCI, called on young Saudis to benefit from the available jobs in the private sector companies which, he said, are working hard to provide a stimulating work environment for the youth to develop their capacities and acquire more experience.

Young Saudis have proven reluctant to accept jobs that they believe do not match their qualifications or aspirations. Economic expert Salim Ba Ajaja believes that most young Saudi men and women have college degrees which encourage them to look for better jobs.

He said some inferior jobs such as heavy-machine drivers or certain technical jobs are highly paid but they do not match the aspirations of young Saudis, especially after they have completed their university studies.

The policy of Saudisation restricts the use of foreign labour in an attempt to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign workers. However, given that only 15% of the number of Saudi workers required have been sourced for interview spells trouble for the policy. Companies struggling to meet Saudisation targets may be forced to hire nationals unsuitable for the job offered or be forced to spend more time and money trying to source suitable candidates.    

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