The Saudi Gazette
DAMMAM/RIYADH -- The policy of reducing Saudi Arabia s dependence on foreign manpower is leading to stiff competition among private companies and business owners for the employment of skilled foreign workers.
A report by Al-Madina, the Arabic language daily newspaper, said that the competition has hiked the salary scale of foreign workers in the labor market by as much as 50 percent.
The retail sector in the Kingdom is badly affected by the new recruitment policy, which is aimed at reducing the importation of the unskilled and semi skilled foreign workers, said Zuhair Al-Sekari, director of the World Food Group in Dammam. This incurred new financial obligations on this particular group.
He said he was forced to offer a monthly SR1,200 salary for porters loading goods. Their salaries earlier ranged between SR700 and SR800 a month. All investors in the retail field are facing pressure from their workers for increasing their salaries, a matter that will reduce the margin of their profits.
He said that the retailers can t replace this segment of foreign manpower with nationals because Saudis rarely accept such jobs.
In addition to these salaries of the sales representatives have increased to SR1,800 compared to SR1,400 in the past, he said.
Nasser Al-Mobtti, director of Al-Mobtti Contracting Company, said, Contactors and business owners are overtly and covertly competing among themselves for obtaining visas by opening new branches for their companies besides competing for the employment of the foreign workers already present in the country.
On the other hand, government agencies have started implementing the recommendations adopted by the team assigned to discuss the issue of unemployment among nationals and the rise in the importation of foreign manpower, he said.
One of the recommendations indicates that the Ministry of Labor send to the Saudi Council of Ministers a detailed report in two years on the results of the enforcement of Saudization and the difficulties hindering the full implementation of the plan .