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Interior Minister in Saudi Arabia Wants More Jobs to be Created for Nationals

Saudi Arabia : 01 September 2010

Because of their out of date education system, Saudi nationals are struggling to find work

The interior minister in the Kingdom, who needs to deal with an unemployment rate that climbed to 10.5 per cent in 2009, called for the private businesses and government ministries to create or grant positions to Saudi Arabia nationals, according to SPA state new agency.

Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz noted that any country in the world would find it difficult and even impossible to employ strictly young people, but this member of the royal family who carries much influence in the nation admitted after meeting with governors from the region that positions in the government and private sectors should be given to citizens.

He suggested that agencies in the government should get together and locate work for Saudi nationals who are graduating or have a degree.  Nayef has also spoken with various chambers of commerce about encouraging the private sector to hire more graduating citizens as well.  Prince Nayef is also the second deputy prime minister.

His comments were made after a rare protest occurred in Riyadh over the weekend.  Around 200 nationals, all university graduates, publically demanded that the state offer them employment.

Even though Saudi Arabia is vastly wealthy and has enormous oil resources their citizens are struggling to get work because of the out of date education system.  The archaic system puts the focus on religious matters, instead of spending time on building skills necessary to help diversify the Kingdom into non-oil based industries and deflate the ballooning public sector.

Official figures put unemployment in Saudi Arabia at 10.5 per cent in 2009.  Providing employment for a population of over 18 million nationals is a tough challenge for the nation’s traditional leadership to face.

Officially the total population of the country sits at 27.1 million and the Saudi nationals are offered specific social benefits, but those are still less than what other oil producing nations in the area are offering.  Kuwait and Qatar for example, provide their nationals with many more benefits even though they have a smaller population of natives.

A large group of nationals have no choice but to find work as security guards, taxi drivers and other low paying positions simply to get by.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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