JEDDAH: The Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) has relaunched its “Hadaf Supports You” campaign to encourage Saudis employment in the private sector.
The campaign aims to spread awareness about the Hadaf program titled “Employment Subsidy Program for Upskilling,” one of several initiatives to motivate the hiring of nationals and increase their participation in the labor market. The program began in 2019 and has continued this year with some amendments.
These include increasing the maximum monthly wage of the supported individual from SR10,000 ($2660) to SR15,000. The minimum supported wage remains at SR4,000.
Hadaf will provide establishments with financial support for employees’ wages for 36 months, at the rate of 30 percent of the monthly salary for the first year of support, 20 percent for the second year, and 10 percent for the third year.
An additional percentage will be added for employing females or persons with disabilities, as well as when hiring Saudis in small cities and villages and where the size of the facility is 50 employees or less.
The fund said that those amendments came after listening to suggestions from business owners and beneficiaries of the program and holding a number of workshops with the different sectors in the labor market and chambers of commerce in various regions of the country.
The program also works on improving the skills and capacities of Saudis who are seeking jobs, helping them to take advantage of the right opportunities through its training support programs provided via its platform or in collaboration with the employers and training bodies.
Training is offered online, on-the-job, and in classrooms. It includes general topics such as work ethics, teamwork skills, communication, and problem-solving skills, which are delivered as e-courses online for the first six months of employment. Moreover, employees will receive apprenticeship programs to acquire technical and vocational skills and real-time training to learn about their new work environment and values.
It serves as a link between employers and job seekers. The Hadaf stated that private sector establishments can join the employment support program by registering with the National Labor Platform (TAQAT), through which they can make their vacancy announcements.
Haya Sawan, the co-founder of She Fit Gym and Black Cardamom restaurant in Jeddah said that such an initiative would help establishments find more Saudis to join their establishments. However, she said the main problem is not finding a Saudi employee; instead, it is finding the best fit for the vacancy.
“The problem is where to find someone who is qualified and with the right experience,” she said.
“Such a service where one can find the person with the necessary experience for the job will be very useful.”
Through this initiative, Hadaf hopes to encourage private sector enterprises to offer quality employment and investment in human capital. This is in line with its objective to prepare Saudi talents for joining the labor market and participating in national development, and thus to reduce the youth unemployment rate.
The Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning expects the unemployment rate among Saudis to fall to 10.6 percent in 2020, down from 12 percent in 2019.