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Saudi won’t fast-track replacement of foreigners in government roles

Saudi won’t fast-track replacement of foreigners in government roles

The Ministry of Civil Service said last September it aimed to replace 28,000 foreign public sector workers by the end of 2020

Saudi Arabia has no plans to speed up the replacement of foreign workers in government roles amid a wider restructuring at the Ministry of Civil Service, according to reports.

The ministry announced plans to replace foreign staff in the public sector with Saudis last September and aims to fill 28,000 roles by the end of 2020.

Read: Saudi to replace 28,000 foreigners with citizens in public sector

Arabic newspaper Al-Watan cited civil service minister Sulaiman Al-Hamdan as confirming the ministry had held workshops with ministries and other government departments to agree a plan to gradually nationalise roles.

But given that the majority of foreign workers in the government are in the health and higher education sectors he believes it will not be possible for the two related ministries to provide enough Saudi staff within the 2020 timeframe.

Foreigners hold only 63,646 of the 1.237 million roles at Saudi government ministries and organisations.

As this drive continues the Ministry of Civil Service is undertaking its own restructuring and consolidation under the goal of creating a central job portal for government and non-government roles.

Al-Hamdan said during an announcement on Sunday that the ministry was working on a project to rehabilitate staff in human resources departments at the Ministry of Civil Service and other government agencies, according to Saudi Press Agency.

This comes under a new role outlined in the kingdom’s National Transformation 2020 and Vision 2030 reform agenda that will see the ministry abandon its former central role in operational processes..

Instead it will develop systems, services and legislation and work with government agencies to attract employees with the right skills.

Al-Hamdan said some of the ministry’s projects would be automated after they had been completed, meaning a reorganisation of its workforce “to consolidate the concept of institutional work in the ministry”.

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