Stock - Saudi economy / Riyadh skyline
Riyadh skyline. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s labour authorities said an earlier decision to localise manpower in the kingdom’s optics sector went into effect nationwide on Saturday as part of efforts to provide jobs for Saudi citizens.

The implementation of the decision comes after a grace period given to employers in the sector expired, the Ministry of Human Resources has said.

The decision includes Saudising the jobs of medical optics technicians and technicians of glasses by 50 per cent of the overall manpower. The decision applies to all private sector optics establishments employing at least four workers.

The ministry said the step is part of its efforts aimed to provide a “motivating and productive work environment” for the Saudi citizens and increasing their engagement in the labour market.

Saudi Arabia, a country of around 34.8 million people, is home to a large community of migrant workers.

In recent years, the kingdom 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 June, ministerial decrees were announced restricting jobs in certain sectors to Saudis only. They covered, optics professions, customer services, licensed aviation professions including co-pilots and air controllers, sales outlets and periodic checks of cars.

In December, a decree localising employment for postal services and parcel transport across the country went into effect.

Saudi Arabia is also implementing a provincial employment programme for its nationals. As part of this programme, the Ministry of Human Resources last January decreed localising a number of professions in the holy city of Medina.