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Riyadh Chamber: Saudi unemployment rate up 3.6 per cent during 2014

Solution lies in expanding the productive base by employing nationals instead of foreign workers and in reforming education

The volume of Saudi unemployment in the kingdom has risen. The number of unemployed nationals aged 15 and above went from 585,727 in 2011 to 651,305 in 2014, indicating a 3.6 per cent increase, according to the Riyadh Chamber.

Economic expert Mohammed al-Jubeir explained that the presence of 11.5 million legally foreign workers leads to a high unemployment rate in the KSA, Aliqtisadi reported.

He adds that the solution lies in expanding the productive base by employing nationals instead of foreign workers after training them and in reforming education to produce more effective outcomes to comply with the Saudi labour market.

The expert points to the necessity of launching technical and vocational incubators for youth employment projects to all members of society to achieve sustainable development in the knowledge, industrial, economic, technical, cultural, and pre-planning fields to resolve the problem of unemployment.

Al-Jubeir stressed the importance of nationalisation of jobs in the private sector, along with providing job opportunities for graduates, supporting Saudization programmes – which encourage the employment of Saudis rather than foreigners – and improving working conditions.

It is noteworthy that one of the major steps to reducing the unemployment rate during 2015 was the establishment of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, which is the first step to reforming the unemployment crisis strategy and the scarcity of real jobs in the private sector.