Riyadh: The Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi on Thursday announced that the Kingdom has approved the implementation of a decision to localize professions in restaurants, cafes, hypermarkets and malls. According to Gulf News, Al-Rajhi said the number of young Saudi men and women who entered the labour market in January exceeded to 28,000.
Earlier, the Kingdom had decided to localize 30 percent accounting jobs in private sectors and 28 professions in the air transport sector.
It may be mentioned that many Middle East countries including Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia are trying to increase employment opportunities for their citizens by putting caps or legislative hurdles for expats.
“We are targeting all sectors, activities, and professions, and we will invest in all opportunities so as to enable the sons and daughters of the country to take up jobs. We will soon implement a decision to localize the legal and educational professions also,” he said. Al-Rajhi made these remarks during his meeting with the members of the National Committee for Contractors (NCC) and the Consulting Offices National Committee.
He further said, “A study has been completed to improve the status of occupational security and safety personnel working on company contracts in ministries and quasi-governmental entities, in addition to contractors with the private sector and set a minimum wage for them.
Although the decision to localise professions will ensure employment for Saudi citizens, it may reduce the job opportunity of expats from Asian countries especially India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It is officially known as Nitaqat. Under this policy of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Saudi companies and enterprises are instructed to hire locals instead of expats.
Saudi political elites favour the policy whereas, businessmen oppose it.