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Digitization expected to create half a million jobs in Saudi Arabia by 2020

7 March 17

Arab News

Half a million jobs are expected to be created by nationwide digitization by 2020, experts said regarding a report by The Economist Corporate Network.

Saudi Arabia faces a crucial juncture in its economic growth and youth employment. Through 2025, Saudi Arabia will see 226,000 new entrants into the labor market per year, with the Saudi working-age population reaching 17.9 million, according to the report “Shaping the Future of Work.”

“Digitization is the fourth Industrial Revolution, and the Saudi government has one of the world’s most ambitious plans for using digitization to boost employment,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, managing director for Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain at future government enabler SAP, which works with 1,000 Saudi partners.

“Saudi millennials are the best-connected and best-educated generation in history, and partnerships across the public, private and academic sectors will ensure they are ready to take on the digital economy challenges of tomorrow.”

The National Transformation Program (NTP) aims to create 450,000 private-sector jobs by 2020. In response, experts are urging the Saudi government to adopt a digital career platform that can analyze employer and applicant data to connect workers to careers and job-training programs.

“By embracing Internet of Things innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and block-chain, the government can match youth to careers, up-skill talent to meet business needs, and enhance regulations so employers can find the right people at the right time,” said Al-Faifi.

The Kingdom’s youth are well-positioned to meet government goals. Saudi youth rank second among their peers in the Middle East and North Africa in preferring private- rather than public-sector careers, according to the report.

Digitization is helping the government develop talent and foster innovations such as e-government services, digital patient records and e-learning.
 
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