By Hazim Al-Mutairi
RIYADH – Abdul Wahid Al-Humaid, Deputy Minister of Labor, has called on the industrial sector to open up more job opportunities for Saudi women, “particularly in administrative positions”.
Al-Humaid was speaking at the first meeting of the “Saudi Industrial Sector Success Stories” at Riyadh’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, and noted that the rate of female unemployment had reached 28.4 percent, “some of those with university qualifications”.
The deputy minister called on businessmen at the gathering to put into effect government decisions concerning the creation of more job opportunities for women in the private sector by providing suitable working environments and heeding the customs of society.
“There are many positions available in industry suitable for women, especially in administrative and technical areas,” Al-Humaid said. “And there are many families that depend on their daughters to provide for them, so the industrial sector should give the issue its full attention.”
According to the deputy minister, the unemployment rate in the Kingdom has risen to 10.5 percent, a situation that “requires the obstacles to Saudization to be tackled”.
“We need to work to replace the foreign workforce with the national workforce, according to need,” he said. “We hope that in this respect the ministry’s plan will reduce unemployment and raise the productivity of Saudi workers.”
Al-Humaid added that the ministry did not wish the Saudi worker to be a “burden on the industrial sector” but instead a “profitable investment in human resources”.
“Saudi staff can bring relative advantages to the national economy,” he said.
Ahmed Al-Rajihi, head of the Chamber’s Industrial Committee, spoke of the success of Saudization in the nations’ industry.
“Saudis have become a significant element in various factories for their skills which have made them superior to foreign workers,” Al-Rajihi said. “We are on the right path, as young persons have started turning to the industrial sector since the reasons for their staying away have been addressed.” – Okaz/SG