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Saudi Arabia has no plans to replace its large number of domestic workers with nationals within its ongoing job Saudisation programmes, the Gulf kingdom’s labour minister has said.
Adel Faqih said Riaydh is seeking decent jobs for its citizens and urged the private sector to play a more active role in providing jobs for Saudis.
“My ministry has no plans to nationalize the domestic worker jobs nor it is seeking jobs for its citizens with wages of just SR1,500,” he told a labour conference in Riyadh in speech, carried by local newspapers Wednesday.
“We need to increase the participation of Saudis in all types of jobs but we also need to make such jobs more attractive for them…our people are demanding higher salaries so we need to offer them more competitive jobs…we should know that a recent study showed that Saudi Arabia is spending nearly SR5,000 on the expatriate worker.”
Saudi Arabia is reeling under high unemployment among its nearly 21 million people, with the rate exceeding 10 per cent at the end of 2010.
The kingdom, the largest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter, has repeatedly urged the private sector to give priority to nationals in job opportunities but many companies have remained reluctant to recruit Saudis as they cost more and are less qualified.
The more than one million housemaids working in the kingdom are foreigners, mostly from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
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