An overwhelming majority of foreigners working in the Kingdom’s industrial sector are not qualified for their jobs, according to an official. Rashed Al-Zahrani, chairman of the Technical and Vocational Training Council in Makkah province, said that nearly 75 percent of foreigners working as mechanics, repairmen and technicians in the industrial sector have only intermediate school education or below that. “Seven percent of them are illiterate while another 23 percent can barely read and write. The qualification of 20 percent of them is elementary schooling while 25 percent have intermediate education,” he said adding that 11 percent of them have completed their secondary school education, and those obtained a bachelor’s degree or diploma in their respective trade account for only 14 percent.
Speaking to Alsharq local daily, Al-Zahrani said that 84 percent of workers in the private sector are foreigners, and they include a considerable number of unqualified hands. He urged Saudi youths to take advantage of the free training courses in various technical trades. “There are training programs in 32 technical trades at the summer clubs, organized by the government in various regions of the Kingdom. The Saudi youths can acquire skills in these trades without much effort,” he said while noting that the foreigners who are engaged in such trades have lower qualifications.
Al-Zahrani urged the Saudi youths who have a desire to work in the technical field to take advantage of the summer training programs. “These clubs, which are no longer following the traditional pattern, give training in trades that are most in demand in the local employment market. They are open to anyone who wants to join, and training courses will be held during five days in a week,” he said.
Courses are being held in trades including general mechanics, air-conditioning and refrigeration, machinery operation and digital control system, electrician, office machinery maintenance, Web designing, computer maintenance, electronics, photography, automobile plus plumber and painter, welder, carpenter, barber, tailor, technician of household appliances, warning and control system technician, and draftsman. As part of the course, the trainees have to attend programs to learn English language, he said.