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Expats in Saudi Arabia Employed in Public Sector Could be Replaced by Saudis


Saudi Arabia : 28 February 2011

In response to concerns within the Saudi government, a new process has arisen which will provide more opportunities for nationals within the public sector.

Based on figures found in a Civil Service Ministry report there are over 75,000 posts currently held by expats that could be replaced with Saudi nationals. The Ministry of Civil Service is in charge of the employment of government sector workers.

According to ministry classifications, any position that is not currently being done by a Saudi national is considered to be vacant.

This report was received by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and stated that there were 941,900 positions filled out of the 1,098,127 approved positions. The report also stated that a majority of the positions held by expats were within universities and the healthcare sector. Last week the minister of finance was urging private businesses to hire more Saudis. Officially the unemployment rate in the Kingdom is 10.5 percent, although unofficially that figure is likely closer to 20 percent.

The Minister of Finance appeared on Saudi television stations in the past week after there were royal orders issued distributing billions of riyals in an effort to boost social security, education for those in need and housing. The minister noted that these royal decisions will undoubtedly be positive for the poor and help to support the unemployed in Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, over 100 academics from the Kingdom, along with businessmen and activists, have put out the call for political reforms such as having a constitutional system of monarchy established. The group from the conservative Gulf nation has posted a statement online and have plans to submit their requests to the King at a later date.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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