Companies asked to hire Saudi engineers
Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani has asked engineering companies to record a 30 percent rate of Saudization in pursuance of the Nitaqat program.
This follows his assessment that the local market accounts for not more than 30,000 Saudi engineers. Al-Haqabani’s decision is seen as a warning to the private sector to raise its employment of Saudi engineers.
Abdul Nassser Abdul Lateef, spokesman of the Saudi Council of Engineers, said Saudi students at engineering colleges can register in training programs provided by engineering companies, adding that the corporate sector can exercise its right to employ more Saudis under the Nitaqat program.
“The minister’s decision will help university students to enhance their qualification after completing their training programs in the private sector. At the same time, the decision will pave the way for them to get jobs after graduating from universities,” he said. Jamil Al-Bagawi, chairman of the Saudi Council of Engineers, said that the number of expatriate engineers in the Kingdom stands at 200,000 as against 35,000 Saudi engineers registered with the council, accounting for just 14.8 percent of the overall strength.
“Such a figure poses many challenges for the industry as a whole and for the council in particular,” he said. “Yet it presents an opportunity to increase the number of Saudi engineers.”