Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, will partly pay private sector salaries for certain nationals as part of plans to help lower the unemployment rate which currently stands around 12.9 per cent.
The kingdom’s Human Resources Development Fund launched a new programme where it will pay 30 per cent of the monthly salaries of certain private sector Saudi employees in their first year of employment, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said on Sunday. This programme will incentivise the localisation of jobs, improve the participation of nationals in the labour market and equip them with skills based on market needs, it added.
The world’s biggest oil exporter is undertaking reforms to help lower the dependence on oil income under Vision 2030, a roadmap for overhauling the economy. Under the vision, women’s participation in the workforce is forecast to rise to 30 per cent from 22 per cent now.
The fund will shoulder 20 per cent of salaries in the second year and 10 per cent in the third year of employment, SPA said. The level of support will increase when private sector establishments employ Saudi women, nationals with special needs and citizens in villages and if the establishments have 50 or less employees.
The minimum monthly wage that will receive support will be 4,000 Saudi riyals (Dh3,917) and a maximum of 10,000 riyals.
The programme aims to support the employment of jobless Saudi graduates, nationals in towns and villages with low population density, Saudi women and special needs individuals. The hiring will also support small and medium sized enterprises.
The age of beneficiaries of the programme should range 20 and 40 years, and they should not be already employed in the private or public sectors or own a business.