Deputy Minister of Civil Service Abdul Rahman Al-Abdul Qader has said that foreigners will not be hired for any government jobs if there were qualified Saudis available. “The government sectors concerned will recruit foreigners only if they fail to get qualified Saudi hands to fill a vacancy. Even in such cases, we hire foreigners on temporary basis until the time when qualified Saudis come forward to take up the job by replacing them,” he said. Speaking to Al-Eqtisadiah business daily, Al-Abdul Qader drew attention to a recent recommendation of the Shoura Council to the ministry to work out a five-year plan to vigorously implement Saudization in the government sector. The Shoura noted foreigners still have a considerable presence in some departments and organizations in the public sector. The deputy minister said the ministry is exerting continuous efforts to attract highly qualified workers to serve the public sector. While emphasizing the ministry’s keenness in increasing Saudization levels, he said finding more jobs for Saudis is a major highlight of the Kingdom’s civil service law. Replying to queries with regard to filling about 60,000 vacancies in the government sector, he said most of these vacancies are in the health sector, especially that of doctors. “The number of Saudi men and women who come forward to take up such jobs is far less than the actual vacancies,” he said. According to the latest statistical figures released by the ministry, there are more than 75,000 foreigners working in various government sectors. Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, secretary-general of the Shoura Council, recently said that the Shoura had endorsed formation of a committee, comprising representatives of the ministries of civil service, finance and economy and planning to count the actual number of vacancies in the public sector. The committee is tasked to classify the vacancies into those that are essential and those that could be abolished. It will also work out a time-bound plan to fill the essential vacancies. Al-Ghamdi reiterated the Shoura’s keenness in realizing the aspiration of Saudi leaders to help citizens find jobs that are suitable and enable them to lead a decent life.