Saudi job market soars: Vision 2030 to create one million new jobs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — 12 January, 2024: The CEO at Parisima Talent, discusses what recent government announcements mean for industry and jobseekers.

Saudi Arabia’s ever-expanding infrastructure development programme, tourism sector transformation, and the award of Expo 2030 in Riyadh means unprecedented employment opportunities across the country.

More than a million new jobs are set to be created in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by 2030, with 250,000 allocated to the 2030 World Expo in Riyadh, according to Ahmed Al Khateeb the Saudi Minister of Tourism.

Saudi’s aggressive investment in infrastructure, tourist attractions and hospitality developments will drive an equally aggressive recruitment campaign, unlocking a wide and diverse range of opportunities for KSA nationals and expatriates alike.
The key to the country’s recruitment success lies in educational reform, careful planning, ethical recruitment and adaptation to today’s modern world, to ensure the right talent is on board to allow KSA to meet its 2030 targets.

Anticipating the growing demand for talent solutions in KSA, Parisima Talent has expanded its presence in the country to support recruitment needs and foster best practice in the region. With increasing numbers of businesses moving their regional headquarters there, KSA is the biggest and fastest-growing market in the Middle East.

The figures speak for themselves. More than US$1 trillion worth of real estate and infrastructure projects, including 315,000 hotel keys, are under development or in the pipeline in KSA, and the country is aiming for 100 million visitors by the year 2030. Saudi’s agreement with Boeing is set to create 200,000 jobs in the Kingdom, and the cruise industry another 50,000 employment opportunities.
With KSA nationals accounting for almost 70 per cent of the country’s population, businesses are continually reaching out for consultation on Saudisation and compliance.

There is also a sustained uptick in demand for recruitment placement and contract staffing services – particularly in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors – which is set to intensify as projects are completed and Saudi welcomes yet more companies and business and leisure travellers.

To ensure job sustainability and adaptation to today’s modern world, a new structure needs to be created to allow a seamless transition from entry-level roles to leadership positions. This would allow KSA nationals to grow within businesses, encouraging retention and loyalty among the talent pool.

Saudi’s population currently stands at 32 million, with a median age of 29. The country’s young population and the fact that nationals tend to stay in the country after graduation brings a golden opportunity to seize young talent and create sustainable employment. According to the General Authority of Statistics in Saudi Arabia, unemployment rates in the core working age of 25-54 fell in Q2 2023 – mainly driven by a decrease in the female unemployment rate.

Employment is already dominated by the tourism sector: 85 per cent of KSA nationals with jobs work at airports, transport hubs, hotels, restaurants and shops – and this figure is set to grow further in line with the country’s tourism and hospitality expansion.

Educational reform is also needed to meet the Kingdom’s future goals. Workforce needs are ever-changing and are very different today compared with only a few years ago, with technology and the digital age resulting in new skill set requirements. Innovation and technology should be integral to the school and university curriculum to ensure that new employees are properly equipped with the right skills and know-how when they come on board, which in turn will reduce time and expenditure on training. Of course, continual training and skill enhancements will be needed throughout people’s careers, but having the basics from the beginning is fundamental.

Saudi Arabia’s gender gap is also quickly closing. Just seven years ago, the ratio of men to women working in hospitality was 80 per cent to 20 per cent; today, it is almost an even playing field within the sector. ESG and ethical recruitment have a major role to play: jobs cannot – and should not – be defined by gender, but by the right talent, personality and skill set.

Source: Hoteliermiddleeast