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Volume :9 Issue : 33 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

EDUCATION AND MANPOWER REQUIREMENTS IN SAUDI ARABIA

Auther : By: Dr. Omar El-Farouk Sayed Ragab

 

           The present phase of economic development in Saudi Arabia is the direct outcome of its leading role in the production of oil in the region.  The magnitude of changes during the last two decades in mainly attributed to the substantial increase in oil revenues, which were directed to the establishment of an industrial base, sound enough to sustain a stable economy.  This paper aims at investigating the drastic changes which have affected manpower requirements particularly in its relationship, with education.  Saudi Arabia in no exception to the widespread phenomenon of inadequacy of local manpower in meeting the needs of development.  Despite the fact that a large population component is engaged in pastoral activities and animal raising, yet, this sector is steadily suffering from underemployment due to continuous migration to the urban centers.   Owing to the virtual absence of females from the active labour force, the size of the active labour force, which is roughly estimated at bout 25%, is in point of fact far from being capable of coping with the demands of development.  The contribution of indigenous manpower has, thus, decreased from 80% in 1975 to some 65% only in 1980.  Imported labour is now beginning to play a major role in the national economy.

 

          Manpower deficiencies are not just quantitative, but are also qualitative due to insufficient education and training.  The present education system is still unable to create a generation capable of effective participation in the development process, probably due to lack of motivation and social mobility.  Despite the marked expansion in the pre-university education which has growth in the primary phase to over 3400 schools, and to 625 preparatory and secondary schools, yet, the major bottleneck of development is still the lack of trained manpower.  This situation has been remedied through the implementation of appropriate training programs to cater for the country’s needs for technicians and skilled workers.  Technical and vocational education is also being carried out, at present, through a number of vocational training centers.  Although, university education is still in the incipient stage, yet, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in widening the base of university graduates who are now being engaged in all spheres of development.  The future expansion of higher education should aim at the establishment of applied scientific institutions and the encouragement of students to join technological and applied institutes.

 

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