Saudis sets up private sector employment agency

Manama: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said it will establish an agency to handle the employment of Saudi nationals in the private sector.

The agency, which will be overseen by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, will be responsible for creating job opportunities and tackling unemployment and will take over the tasks of the Job Creation and Unemployment Control Authority, the cabinet said as it held its regular session chaired by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.

Saudi authorities have for years been pushing for ambitious labour reforms to boost local employment and motivate Saudi men and women to join the private sector instead of insisting on securing a job in the more attractive public sector, where employees enjoy greater job security and more perks and off days.

The labour market reforms have mainly targeted young graduates and Saudi women who have been encouraged to take up jobs in the private sector.

In December, King Salman approved the allocation of 72 billion riyals (Dh70.5 billion) to implement a plan to stimulate private sector growth.

The royal decision follows a recommendation from Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development.

Under the stimulus package, 16 initiatives will receive funds from the state in a move aimed at enhancing competitiveness, and improve the business and investment environment.

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