Date of Conferral



The purpose of the study was to explore in depth the problem of the skilled Saudi labor shortage in Saudi Arabia. More specifically, it investigated the role of small to medium-size private companies in developing manpower for the kingdom. To investigate this role, the study sought to answer the following research questions:

1. To what extent do small and medium-size firms attract Saudi youth to work in practical skill areas?

2. Do small and medium-size firms offering training take traditional values or customs into consideration when determining training needs?

3. Is Saudization a factor when determining training needs?

4. Are there conditions that would make vocational jobs more attractive to Saudi youth when determining their future employability?

5. Are small and medium-size firms successful in retaining trained employees on the job?

To answer the research questions, a survey questionnaire was developed, tested, then administered to managers of personnel departments in 200 small to medium size companies. The survey was limited to companies in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

The findings of this study suggest that there is little effort by private firms to attract Saudis to work in practical skill areas. Saudi customs and values are not considered in designing training programs. Training needs are determined on the basis of formality rather than on real needs. Monetary incentives are considered the main factors in attracting Saudis to vocational jobs. Saudi firms are having little success in retaining trained Saudi employees. Based on these findings the study suggested the following recommendations:

1. The monetary incentives for vocational jobs should be increased.

2. More training both inside and outside the country should be made available.

3. Training programs appropriate to Saudi culture should be designed.

4. A government wage and vocational policy was suggested.

5. Training programs were also suggested.