I heard that Adel Fakieh, the current labor minister, is big on studies. As soon as he started in his position two years ago, he hired major international consulting firms like PwC to conduct studies on the Saudi jobs market, to analyze it and come up with the best solutions to tackle the chronic unemployment issues among the country‘s young population. His main challenge was, and remains, how to get more Saudis to work in the private sector, long dominated by expat workers.
That’s why he launched Nitaqat program, which, according to him, has been a great success so far, creating 380,000 job opportunities so far. Now based on MOL‘s studies, Fakieh predicts that 43 percent of private sector companies face closure if they fail to comply with the Nitaqat program requirements for Saudization.
Powerful words by the minister. Except that the lead story in Arab News on Tuesday screamed: “King‘s plan help 299,000 Saudis get civil service jobs.” How does MOL plan to convince young Saudis to take private sector jobs when the government keeps hiring hundreds of thousands of people like that? It is not as if the government is bloated or anything.