Over the past few decades, Saudi Arabia has relied on expatriates to fill the workforce, however, with currently over half the Saudi population below the age of 35, there’s been an influx of graduates seeking work. Saudization is a solution the government initiated to increase recruitment of Saudi nationals, and Nitaqat is the newest program of this.
Nitaqat is a solution to the challenges that the Saudi labour market have been facing, such as; high Saudi unemployment, key positions being given to foreign labour, low productivity, lack of a female workforce and challenges regarding the mismatch between the qualifications obtained and the job opportunities available.
Nitaqat is a program of Saudization, to increase employment of Saudi nationals in the private sector. Nitaqat uses a rating system, by classifying companies into four zones; platinum, green, yellow and red.
Nitaqat requires employers in the private sector with over 9 employees to hire a certain percentage of Saudi nationals, depending on the company’s industry and the number of employees in the company. Companies with less than 10 employees are exempt from the zoning system, but are still required to hire at least one Saudi national.