Construction industry hopes for Saudiisation policy change

Construction industry leaders at the Saudi Talent in Construction Conference organised in association with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) say they are hoping for a relaxation in the Ministry of Labour’s Nitaqat Saudiisation targets which they claim have seriously weakened the kingdom’s construction industry.

Deputy labour minister Ahmed Kattan told the conference this morning that the ministry has drafted “improvements” to Nitaqat programme introduced in 2011 which penalises companies for failing to hit minimum Saudiisation targets.

Fawwaz al-Khodari, chief executive of Saudi Arabian construction firm Abdullah A M Al-Khodari, told the conference that Nitaqat had weakened the Saudi Arabian supply chain by increasing costs; encouraged the hiring of Saudi Arabians to meet Nitaqat targets rather than to work and caused serious delays in project delivery.

Al-Khodari said he hoped that the Ministry of Labour accept recommendations fthat blanket targets should be replaced by targets for particular professions. He said the prospects of hiring a technical worker for a remote project were almost zero and said that the targeting should apply for jobs that Saudi Arabians are will to fill.

The Saudi Talent in Construction conference is organised by MEED in association with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF). The knowledge partner is EY. AYTB is bronze sponsor. Associate sponsor is Soundlines Group. Effat University is exhibitor. The media partners are Eye of Riyadh, the business year, Sky News Arabia, The Talent Enterprise and bayt.