Saudi businessmen believe expat workers needed for 40 years

Published:  1 Apr at 6 PM
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In spite of Saudi Arabia’s controversial Saudization scheme which promises jobs in major sectors for all nationals, Saudi businessmen believe expat workers will be needed for 40 more years.

Government leaders would seem to agree, according to the head of the country’s vocational training organisation, who stated that it will take at least 40 years to train up Saudi workers to the level required by many international employers based in the kingdom. Saudi’s Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) is committed to 25 colleges training a quarter of a million locals in order to render the country self-sufficient.

TVTC’s governor, Ali bin Nasser al-Ghafis told the Saudi Gazette that four decades would be needed to train up enough Saudis to satisfy the country’s labour requirements. At present, there are eight million foreign workers in the kingdom, a significant proportion of whom are working in highly-skilled jobs in the oil and gas sector.

The controversial Saudization programme, aimed at the 800,000 foreign companies in the kingdom, aims to reduce the number of expat workers and tackle the high Saudi unemployment rate by various means including filling quotas for Saudi nationals on the payrolls, for which privileges are granted. Those unable or unwilling to fill the quotas face restrictions on the employment of foreign workers.
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