Official initiative to boost Saudi public sector HR

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 09 Dec 2015

King Salman Program for Human Resources Development aims to increase productivity and professionalism of HR

A new official initiative has been launched to improve the standing and quality of HR practice in Saudi government departments, following hot on the heels of similar moves within the UAE.
The King Salman Program for Human Resources Development has been launched with the aim of improving the workplace environment and boosting the productivity of government employees.
Khaled Al-Araj, Minister of Civil Service, told the Saudi Gazette the programme will be responsible for policies to improve HR practice in the region and prepare the next generation of leaders.
“The first phase of the programme, which is for a period of one year, is restricted to the ministries of justice, social affairs, agriculture, transport, communications and information technology, foreign affairs, and culture and information,” said Al-Araj.
Each ministry will appoint a director general for human resources, who will report directly to with the minister. The Ministry of Civil Service is taking the lead and will be working with other ministries to achieve the goals of the programme, said Al-Araj.
As Saudi Arabia attempts to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil income, measures to professionalise and improve the standing of HR are likely to come to the fore, as they have in recent years in the UAE. Dubai created the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) in 2008, while earlier this month Abu Dhabi created its own Human Resources Authority to supplements its existing HR initiatives.
In 2014, the Saudi government created 9,267 government jobs for local nationals by refusing to renew the contracts of expatriate workers in public sector roles. The policy of Saudisation aims to fill a certain quota of public sector jobs with Saudi nationals.