When the soil is ready


***
I’ve been working in Saudi Arabia for almost 19 years now and the Saudization plan was already among the many hot issues way back then, but it’s like seaweed with no roots, it needs a firm surface such as rock to grow on.

Though, like any other country on earth unemployment among young Saudis is a serious problem and like all animal life in the ocean, seaweeds are essential to ocean health. Job creation on a specific country stimulates economic growth and unlocks young graduates on its potentials to contribute to economic development.

seedlingThe beginning will always be tiring and difficult, but young people can realize their ambitions if they are persistent and work hard,” said the late Saudi Labor Minister Ghazi Algosaibi after his surprised visit in a restaurant in Jeddah serving hamburgers to customers for three hours to encourage young Saudis to take jobs they think menial jobs or are not capable of doing it.

By extracting seaweeds it can generate billions of dollars each year by people for food, stock feed, fertilizers and medicines.

Perhaps, the Saudi government for all these years haven’t yet built the foundation that the Saudis can hold on to. Respected journalist Elham Ahmad of Saudi arabic daily Al-Yaum newspaper said, “Despite this, shouldn’t we test the soil before implanting the seeds? We have to wait and give this young generation a chance to learn.”

Today, under Labor Minister H.E. Adel Fakeih, Saudi Arabia is very serious in their mission by creating 1.12 million jobs for Saudis in 2014, 3 million jobs by 2015 and 6 million by 2030; the reality about “Nitaqat, Expat Fees and July 3 Amnesty Deadline” is to get rid of expatriate employees by the end of 2014 or maybe by 2015 or perhaps by 2030 “when the soil is ready.”

By: Manuel Amora (Overseas Filipino Worker in KSA)

(Republish and revise blog entry)

***

NITAQAT BLUES

Many government-contracted firms in the country do not want to continue sponsoring their expatriate employees because they want to make way for Saudi workers.

A number of expatriate employees here say that many of them have not had their contracts renewed because their companies are concerned about their Nitaqat quotas.

Many of these firms have short-term contracts with government bodies so they do not want to hire expatriate workers for long periods.

Hussain Al-Qahtani, spokesman for the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME), said that some companies contracted to the PME have stopped transferring the sponsorships of new expatriate employees.

 “Most of the contracted firms have short-term contracts. Therefore, these firms do not want to hire expat employees over the long-term. These firms hire expatriate workers until the end of their contracts with government bodies. Most contracted firms have started looking for Saudis to work in government projects, instead of expats,” Al-Qahtani told Arab News.

Kamal Mahmoud, a Sudanese resident in Jeddah, told Arab News: “I got a chance to work as a public relations expert with a company contracted to a government body. However, I have spent eight months trying to transfer my sponsorship to my employer. I think they do not want to transfer my sponsorship in spite of their promises to me.”

Companies and workers face penalties for not legalizing their work status. However, some firms are still violating the law by hiring expatriates for short-term government contracts without transferring their sponsorship.

“Labor inspectors are regularly checking companies to make sure they hire expatriate employees under their sponsorship,” Hattab Al-Anazi, the Ministry of Labor’s spokesman, told Arab News recently.

JEDDAH: IBRAHIM NAFFEE

ARABNEWS: Wednesday 24 July 2013

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