Labour losses lead contractors to demand for more short-term recruitment options
Construction firms in the Kingdom are vying for an increase in the number of labour recruitment firms.
Following the loss of time and profits due to Saudi Arabia’s recent crackdown on illegal labourers, contractor firms are encouraging the establishment of more recruitment firms that can provide legal workers to complete their projects.
“We are waiting for labor recruitment firms to play a major role in importing expat construction workers to complete our projects which have been badly affected after the exit of thousands of our employees,” said Abdul Aziz Masnour, a Saudi contractor.
Industry reports suggest 36% of construction projects in the country have been delayed by the labour crisis. Recruitment companies, as per a report by local daily Arab News, have already begun hiring out short-term workers on a yearly basis to construction companies.
“We need time to activate the role of labor recruitment firms in the local market,” said Abdullah Radwan, chairman of the contractors committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). “These firms have started working in coordination with the Ministry of Labour which has started issuing visas for expat workers.
“However, labor recruitment firms need the expertise to train workers before they can close the gap between demand and supply,” Radwan added.
Scores of workers left the Kingdom after the government undertook measures to cleanse the labour market of illegal immigrants in a bid to increase local representation in the market.