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Monday, November 26, 2007

Saudis need more expatriate workers

This is fairly peculiar, given that the Saudis have a high unemployment rate. Apparently it results from inability to find trained engineering personnel in Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and on the other, unwillingness of Saudis to take poor paying menial jobs.

Saudi demand for expat workers soars

by Wael Mahdi, Arabian Business, 22 November 2007

The Saudi Minister of Labour said that Egyptians, Bangladeshis, and Indians were the dominant nationalities for the workers visas issued in Ramadan. 22% of the visas issued were for Egyptians, followed by Bangladeshis with 19% and Indians with 15%.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Labour has said that it has issued 878,737 working visas in the first nine months of 2007 showing a 57% increase from a year earlier, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
The ministry, which uses the Islamic calendar, said that number of visas issued in the month of Ramadan (which started on Sept.12) for this year was 90,619 visas, signaling a 104% increase over the same month a year earlier.

The ministry said that 50% of the working visas issued in Ramadan were for engineering professions. Services professions came next with 25% present and all other professions shared the remaining 25%.

The figures reflect the high demand for engineers and technical professionals by Saudi companies which are executing multi billion infrastructure projects. The number of visas issued for civil engineers went up 28% compared to a year earlier, according to the labor ministry.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil-rich countries are spending heavily on developing their infrastructures; however, companies are facing difficulties executing most of the infrastructure projects due to the limited availability of skilled labour in the Gulf.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC) figures for 2006, demand for networking skills in Saudi will exceed supply by 33% in 2009 and there will be a shortage of more than 33,900 skilled professionals.
Saudi Arabia will account for one third of the shortage in the Middle East region in 2009. UAE and Egypt will account for another one third of this shortage with a demand shortage of 19,000 IT skilled workers in each country.

IDC data estimated that the Middle East will fall short of providing 114,800 IT professionals to execute the region's infrastructure projects.

The Saudi Minister of Labour said that Egyptians, Bangladeshis, and Indians were the dominant nationalities for the workers visas issued in Ramadan. 22% of the visas issued were for Egyptians, followed by Bangladeshis with 19% and Indians with 15%.

Source: CNPublications


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