Saudisation process must 'not just fill spaces'

Nitaqat programme must develop Saudi employees, says Labour Ministry

GTSC Saudi Arabia GM Husain A. Al-Omani.
GTSC Saudi Arabia GM Husain A. Al-Omani.

There is a danger that the new Saudisation rules will lead to many companies “hiring Saudi people just for Saudisation, and put them in low levels in the organisation, with no career development or any motivation,” says GTSC Saudi Arabia GM Husain A. Al-Omani.

In terms of the latest Saudisation rules, companies will be classified according to their uptake of Saudi employees: Green and Premium is a high score, Yellow is for companies that have not yet achieved their quota, and Red is for companies that have flouted Saudisation altogether.

“The main question will be about the Saudisation implementation mechanism, and how companies will deal with it. Some companies apply Saudisation not just to reach the required ratio, but to utilise qualified Saudi people and put them on the management track of the company,” said Al-Omani.

“On the other side, you will find Saudi employees working at the lowest level just for Saudisation purposes, and some of them even do not even take salaries.

“The Ministry of Labour should take the Nitaqat programme seriously, not just for the Saudisation ratio, but also to activate and support Saudi employees in all levels in the companies," said Al-Omani.

“I think we need a separate authority to follow up and monitor how the companies will apply the new standards with full transparency, by announcing all companies’ categories regardless to the owners.

“One of the major tools that should be used is surprise visits and interviews with employees in their companies to make sure they will not just apply it, but also maintain it,” urged Al-Omain.

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