(MENAFN - Arab News) The ministries of Labor, Economy and Planning and Civil Service Affairs are making joint efforts to nationalize jobs in the industrial sector where the number of Saudi workers is the lowest compared to foreigners.
"The three ministers are weighing a number of options including prospects of raising the rate of Saudization in the sector," said a senior official at the Ministry of Economy and Planning.
Encouraging industries to set up centers to train Saudis is another option, said the official while explaining the thrust of a new strategy that would determine the timeframe for implementing the new Saudization program.
The move is significant to solve the Kingdom's unemployment problem.
According to the latest figures issued by the Department of Statistics, there are about 588,000 unemployed Saudis. But the Hafiz program showed their number is much larger than this figure.
There are more than 5,800 industries in different parts of the Kingdom with a total investment of SR 640 billion. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has licensed 1,816 new industries involving a capital investment of SR 223 billion.
The Kingdom's central region has the largest number of industries estimated at about 2,500 with investments reaching SR 101 billion, followed by the western region 1,570 with an investment of SR 185 billion and the Eastern Province over 1,325 industries with a total investment of SR 339 billion.
The southern and northern regions have the lowest numbers of industries 269 and 153 respectively with investments reaching SR 9 billion and SR 6.4 billion.
Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) currently oversees 20 industrial cities. Modon plans to increase the number of industrial cities to more than 40 by the year 2015, which would double the developed area of industrial cities to 160 million square meters.