Saudi Arabia has begun localisation of jobs in major private sectors including information technology (IT) and telecommunications, which will put several foreigners employed in the private sector at risk of losing their jobs.
The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRDF) aims to localize 25 percent of each category of jobs and it will be implemented in firms with five or more employees, except small scale enterprises.
The move is to create 9,000 jobs for the nationals in the field of communication and information technology, covering various engineering posts, application development programming-analysis jobs, technical support jobs and technical positions in the telecom sector. The minimum monthly wage prescribed for specialists and technical field professionals are SR7,000 and SR5,000 Saudi riyals, respectively.
Last October, the ministry had issued the decision to localize the professions of communications and IT in private sector entities, which came into effect from Monday (June 28). The initiative aims to provide Saudi graduates in the communications and IT field employment opportunities while utilizing their participation in the development of the private sector.
Of Saudi Arabia's total population of 34.8 million, foreigners constitute around 10.5 million. The Government has moved to nationalise several sectors of employment including communication engineering, IT, application development, programming and analysis, technical support and technical jobs for communications so as to provide distinct opportunities for Saudi men and women as part of achieving its Vision 2030.