Well according to today’s news there should be little to worry about for the many expats working on government sponsored projects throughout the kingdom, the government does not see any need to slow spending despite the debt crisis hitting most of the rest of the world; so your jobs should be safe here in Saudi for a while yet.
Saudi ‘won’t cut spending’
Posted on » Wednesday, May 23, 2012
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will feel only a limited impact from the euro zone debt crisis and will not cut spending even if there is a fall in oil prices, the main source of revenue for the world’s leading producer, Saudi officials said yesterday.
The Saudi government boosted expenditures to a record 804 billion riyals ($214bn) in 2011, nearly 40 per cent over its initial plan, Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said.
Revenues and spending in Saudi Arabia were higher than budgeted in the first five months of 2012, Alassaf said, speaking at an Euromoney conference in the capital Riyadh.
“We are in a very comfortable fiscal position,” he said, adding that he expected inflation to ease after hitting highs earlier this year.
With continued investment in the countries infrastructure, industrial cities and other projects there are many jobs going around for expats in these areas, with many of the labor work going to expats these are generally massive employers of expats from third world countries as well as many engineers and the like from the west. The threats to employment are coming from sources other than money within the kingdom;
Saudi Nitaqat system
With the high level of Saudis unemployed the government introduced the Nitaqat system to grade companies according to the number of Saudis that they employ, those that fall within the yellow and red categories will be unable to renew their employees visas or Iqamas, this is going to lead to a huge number of expats finding themselves unemployed as their Iqamas expire. While many wish to transfer their sponsorship to other employers there are always going to be those that can’t manage to find new employment, especially if they leave checking their companies status until the last minute. The saudization program is an attempt to force companies to comply with the government needs to reduce saudi unemployment but in general the ones that are going to suffer are the expats who will be the ones losing their jobs.
How to check your Status in Nitaqat.
The following video explains how to check your companies status within the Nitaqat system using your Iqama number on the MOFA website, I would suggest that if you have not done so already you discover your employers status. If they fall in the red and yellow areas you need to be talking to your sponsor about your options.
If you are one of those affected and your employer assures you that there is no need to worry; worry! Unless they are taking action to either get rid of expat workers (you) or they are employing more Saudis then your job is not safe after the expiration of your Iqama. If you are a Nitaqat victim, even if your expiration is some time in the future it is time for you to be looking for a new sponsor rather than leaving things to late.
I have already been affected by Saudization as have some of my friends, termination of employment in Saudi Arabia can be a messy affair if you have no warning that it is coming; at least with the nitaqat system you have some warning about what to expect.