The Saudi Logistics Academy is helping groom young Saudis and support the logistics sector. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: The Saudi government is pursuing an initiative geared towards creating 23,000 jobs in the kingdom’s promising transport and logistics sector as part of efforts to provide employment opportunities for Saudi citizens, a transport official has said.

Assistant Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Ahmed Al Hassan, said the ministry has an initiative to localise 10,000 jobs in the heavy transport sector, 3,000 others in the passenger transportation and 10,000 more jobs in the air transport sector.

“The target is to localise 28 different professions,” Al Hassan said at a youth empowerment session in Al Qassim in central Saudi Arabia.

He added that the Saudi Logistics academy, launched in 2021, is helping groom young Saudis and support the logistics sector as the kingdom seeks to become a global logistics hub. The academy has recently graduated 450 trainees.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia, home to a large community of migrant workers, has launched a series of initiatives to employ its nationals and replace foreign workers in several fields including education, telecommunications and real estate as part of a labour policy known as “Saudisation”.

In December, Saudi labour authorities said a decision to localise jobs of sales, purchases and project management went into effect.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resources said the sales professions are initially Saudised by 15 per cent covering jobs of sales manager, retail sales manager, sales specialist, wholesale manager, information technology and telecom equipment specialist, and sales agent.

In September, the kingdom unveiled a plan to localise the dental profession, initially setting it at 35 per cent as of next March.

The Ministry of Health said it will follow up the implementation of the decision aimed at increasing Saudis’ engagement in the labour market. Private sector institutions stand to benefit from incentives and support programmes offered by the Ministry of Human Resources to help them employ Saudis.

These incentives include support to the process of looking for qualified employees, training and employment continuity as well as having access to Saudi employment support programmes.

In mid-2022, ministerial decrees were issued restricting jobs in certain sectors to Saudis only. They covered optics jobs, customer services, licensed aviation professions including co-pilots and air controllers, sales outlets and periodic checks of cars.