The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has announced that the first phase of the 'Professional Verification' initiative for foreigners will be implemented for companies with 3,000 or more employees from July 1. Earlier, the ministry had stated that the program will be made compulsory from July 2021 onwards, depending on the size of the establishments.
The vocational eligibility test will be mandated by categorizing the institutions into five classifications according to the number of employees. The initiative will be mandated for large-scale firms with 500 to 2,999 employees from September 1, medium-sized enterprises with 50 to 499 employees from 1st of October while small firms are categorized as A and B. Firms with 6 to 49 employees are placed as A category and to begin from November 3 and B category will include small organizations with 5 or fewer workers with the eligibility test made compulsory from December 1.
An official in the MHRSD stated that the workers who pass the eligibility test will be issued a five-year certificate and after five year-term, the certificate can be renewed without another vocational test. However, it is yet to be announced officially.
The assessments are to be conducted in Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu and the Philippines representing the languages of 80 per cent of ex-pat workers in Saudi Arabia. The professional verification program targets 17 lakh workers currently employed in Saudi Arabia. Each candidate is granted three chances to qualify their skills and those workers who are disqualified in the third attempt also will be sent back home.
The official stated that the Kingdom aims to free the local labour market from unskilled workers who created a huge burden on the national economy.
Until the mandatory implementation of the initiative, the Ministry has called on all the institutions to make use of the professional verification program on the skilled workers through the https://svp.qiwa.sa link.