Saudi Arabia unveils stricter requirements for hiring foreign engineers

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development has announced that it will prevent the recruitment of foreign engineers with less than five years of experience.

Expatriate engineers will also be required to undergo a professional test and a personal interview before being allowed to work in the kingdom to ensure they are familiar with the profession.

The decision is aimed at providing opportunities for Saudi engineers in the government and private sectors, according to Saudi Press Agency.

The kingdom’s engineering authority previously issued a requirement for foreign engineers to have at least three years of experience, a personal interview and professional test before working in the kingdom.

The new stricter requirements come as the kingdom seeks to decrease unemployment among Saudi citizens.

The Institute of International Finance said in a report earlier this month that the kingdom’s economy would contract 0.4 per cent this year in part due to an increase in Saudi unemployment to 12.3 per cent.

The labour ministry is also moving to bar the recruitment of foreigners in some areas including as workers in shops selling female-specific items, shopping malls, grocery stores, car rental offices, and management roles at tourism agencies.

Yesterday, the kingdom’s tourism authority warned travel firms that they have limited time to meet a December deadline to install Saudis as managers and department heads. Source: Albawaba