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Saudi’s idle citizens
The Kingdom is aggressively trying to promote education in a bid to limit rising levels of unemployment.
January 21, 2010 1:51 by Aarti Nagraj
Many young people in Saudi appear to be apprehensive about the situation.
A recent study conducted by a Saudi-based NGO, The Royah Center for Social Studies, found that 84 percent of the 1,500 young Saudis surveyed are worried about future unemployment. While 87 percent were concerned about financial security, 85 percent were anxious about finding a good job. Interestingly though, 68 percent of the male respondents said that they wanted their spouses to be full-time housewives.
To deal with current unemployment, officials in the country recently mulled over providing unemployed Saudis with financial assistance once every six or eight months. But the idea was rejected by al-Gosaibi, who said that it would discourage unemployed Saudis to seek work.
Al-Gosaibi quoted information from the Central Department of Statistics and Information, which said that 90 percent of unemployed male Saudis are not qualified, and blamed the lack of educational qualifications for the high level of joblessness.
The country has been taking steps to solve that problem; earlier this week, the Saudi government said that it would pay half of the tuition fees for nationals studying at private colleges and universities in the country, reported Arab News. The idea was to encourage Saudis to study in the country rather than abroad, said the report.
“This concession will be available for five years from the date of this decision and will be reviewed later by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Higher Education,” said Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja.