RIYADH — Non-Saudis will no longer be allowed to work in grocery stores, confectionery shops and those selling supply and consumer goods, according to a draft decision being prepared by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD).
Jobs in these shops will be 100% Saudized, local daily Al-Madina reported on Monday quoting informed sources from the ministry.
This will open up more than 20,000 job opportunities for Saudis during the first year of the application of the decision, according to the sources.
The ministry was also considering to limit work in food and soft drinks mobile vans to Saudis. This is expected to generate about 6,000 job opportunities for citizens.
The Shoura Council recently asked the ministries of labor and social development and municipal and rural affairs to close down small supply stores and issue retail licenses only to big stores which are capable of employing a large number of Saudi men and women. The Council believed that such a move will boost the economy and curb tasattur (foreigners doing business in the names of Saudis against certain fees).
The sources said the ministry was able to employ more than 8,000 Saudi men and women by Saudizing jobs in the telecom sector where jobs in mobile phone repair, maintenance and sale have been 100% Saudized.
The ministry is expected to find employment for more than 5,000 Saudis by limiting work in car rental offices.
In the health sector, the ministry recently contracted 7,500 Saudi doctors, nurses and technicians to work in a number of government hospitals and health centers. According to the sources, more than 93,000 Saudi men and women will be employed in the health sector by the end of 2020.
A total of 142,824 recruitment visas were issued to the government and 1,403,731 for the private sector in 2016. A total of 1,173,500 work visas were issued to recruit housemaids last year.
Quoting official figures, the sources said the the wage protection program was implemented in 18,545 establishments and companies. But only 7,583 establishments and companies, representing about 41 percent, were committed to the program.