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The Civil Service Ministry rejected applications for contracts of 2,607 foreign workers and refused to renew the contracts of 9,267 foreign workers at government departments across the Kingdom last year, Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak, Civil Service minister, said on Sunday in a statement.
“We will focus on replacing foreign contract workers with Saudis,” the minister said. “We also coordinate with educational institutions to ensure enough supply of Saudi manpower specialized in areas required by the Kingdom’s labor market. We also inform them of jobs held by expatriates.”
Al-Barrak said the ministry would not approve any request to recruit foreign workers or renew expat contracts except after publicizing vacant positions and making sure Saudis could not fill them.
“We consider the jobs previously filled by expats as vacant positions and when qualified Saudis come forward, we will appoint them in these positions,” he said.
The largest number of foreign workers is in the health sector due to nonavailability of qualified Saudis, the minister said.
“We publicize vacant positions in government departments through media outlets for Saudis to come forward and fill them.”
Most contract workers hold engineering and scientific-based jobs.
The minister referred to a royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah instructing government departments and public corporations to set out a five-year plan to nationalize jobs.
“We have received the five-year plans of 79 government departments to nationalize their jobs and we are awaiting reports from the remaining departments.”