(MENAFN - Arab News) Many owners of the Eastern Province's 4,000 women's dressmaking shops are fearful that government will crack down on them after they failed to meet the required 10 percent Saudization quota under the Nitaqat system.
The Ministry of Labor ordered these shops to hire Saudi women two years ago. These businesses largely employ men because of the scarcity of Saudi seamstresses. Many of the owners now fear they may have to close their shops.
A Saudi woman working at a dressmaking shop said female citizens do not want to work for these businesses because there is no job security and a lack of institutes providing training. "Some women investors tried to establish training facilities but faced many difficulties getting licenses," she said.
Shuaa Al-Dhailan, chairperson of the Women Dressmaking Shops Organization in the Eastern Province, said regular dressmaking businesses have been able to meet the 10 percent Saudization quota and hire legal expatriates following the Labor Ministry's raids.
"All the regular dressmaking shops are meeting the nationalization percentage because they will be penalized if they don't. Inspectors from the labor office conduct regular raids on these shops to ensure their compliance with the law." She said some beauty parlors that have not been able to hire trained women have instead opted to employ them in management positions.
Al-Dhailan said some shops are training and hiring Saudi women. "These shops hire the women after providing training. However, some women then seek positions elsewhere or decide to work independently from home." She confirmed that many shops cannot find experienced Saudi women for these positions.
Izzat Nora Al-Otaibi, the owner of a sewing shop, said Saudi women are reluctant to work for these shops because the salaries are low, ranging between SR2,000 and SR3,500 a month, even for administrative jobs.