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Nitaqat Generates 300,000 Jobs

Middle East : 30 January 2012

Source: Arab News

The Nitaqat Saudization program was instrumental in generating more than 300,000 job opportunities in the private sector, according to Ibrahim Al-Moaiqel, director general of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

“These figures are based on reports that we have received after implementing the program since June last year. The HRDF branch offices across the Kingdom are vigorously working on achieving the goals of the Nitaqat program,” he told Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

Speaking to the newspaper on the occasion of the Liqaat fair in Riyadh, Al-Moaiqel said similar fairs would be held in major and small regions across the Kingdom.

“Under the program, job interviews will be arranged between employers and jobseekers under one roof. There will be a focus on the geographical features and economic conditions of the regions concerned while organizing the program,” he said.

“For example, we will focus on job opportunities in the Haj and Umrah service sectors while organizing such fairs in Makkah and Madinah. Similarly, there will be a focus on job opportunities in the olive festival in Al-Jouf, citrus and mango festivals, the fishing festival in Jazan, and the tourism festival in Asir.”

Al-Moaiqel said Liqaat fairs would be held in major and small regions across the Kingdom.

The HRDF chief expressed happiness over the tremendous response to the ongoing Liqaat program in Riyadh. “A number of leading companies have come forward with more job opportunities for Saudi jobseekers. Saudi Binladin Group and Maaden have offered 5,000 and 3,000 job opportunities respectively during the current year,” he said.

The first edition of a five-day Liqaat fair kicked off in Riyadh on Thursday.

The first two days were for women jobseekers while the remaining three days for young men that started on Saturday will end on Monday.  The second edition of the fair will be held in Jeddah on March 3-5 and the third in Dammam on April 14-16.

The ministry recently said that under the Liqaat program, the biodata of about 100,000 young Saudi males and females were being scrutinized and about 15,000 of them will be selected for job interviews.

The program, which is being implemented by a specialized company, is a joint initiative between the ministry and HRDF.

The ministry asked all Saudis not registered under the Hafiz unemployment assistance program to register their names in the Liqaat program and attend job interviews that will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. About 150 rooms in the three cities have been prepared for possible employers and eligible candidates to meet.

An official source at the ministry urged the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities being provided for them by the Liqaat program to employ young Saudis in order to improve their rank within the Nitaqat program.

“This is a chance for yellow and red companies to join the green category,” he added.

Under the Nitaqat program, companies have been labeled green, yellow and red depending on the level of Saudization they have achieved. The Ministry of Labor started implementing the first phase of the program on June 11, 2011 through classification of the companies and giving them a three-month period for improving their Saudization status. Companies meeting their required Saudization quotas started enjoying a number of special benefits when the second phase of the program came into force on Sept. 10.

Punitive measures against companies classified in the red category were effective on Nov. 26 at the end of a six-month grace period, while yellow companies will face penal action effective from Feb. 23, at the end of a nine-month grace period.

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