Only 1,760 Saudis applied for over 11,750 vacancies that were made available by 70 private companies and other organisations in Riyadh, a new report has found.
According to a report by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), vacancies offered were from leading firms in food, technology, services industry, tourism and contracting.
Opportunities were open for accountants, marketing professionals, cashiers, sales professionals, drivers, electricians and welders among others.
The salaries being offered for these jobs ranged from SAR 4,000 to SAR10,000 per month, local media reported.
RCCI secretary-general Mohammed Al-Kuthairi urged young Saudi job seekers to avail of these opportunities and benefit from the experience of working in the private sector.
“The young men and women will receive fringe benefits including good salaries, financial incentives and vocational training,” he was quoted as saying in Saudi Gazette.
He added that RCCI is constantly updating the vacancies that are available in the private sector to improve employment among Saudis.
The Kingdom has an unemployment rate of around 11.4 per cent while economists say that just 30 to 40 per cent of the working age adults participate in the workforce.
The majority of Saudi citizens opt for public sector jobs and have traditionally shied away from taking up private sector employment where the work hours are longer and the pay is lower than the lucrative government sector.
However, the Kingdom has been sporting a policy shift in recent years following warnings from the International Monetary Fund and other agencies to rein in its public expenditure.
Saudi has been encouraging its citizens to work in the private sector in a bid to reduce their public wage bill.
It also announced plans earlier this year to introduce unemployment insurance for all locals with jobs to encourage workforce participation in the private sector. As part of the insurance scheme, all Saudi workers in both the private and public sectors will be charged one per cent of their monthly salary as a subscription.
Their employer will also pay the same amount into the programme, which will be operated by a new state insurance body to be set up soon.
Those who lose their jobs will be entitled to up to 12 months of compensation, set at 60 per cent of the average salary they earned in the previous three years for the first three months and then 50 per cent for the following nine months.