Vocational institutes, Would hey help return Yemeni labor to Saudi Arabia? [Archives:2003/679/Business & Economy]

October 23 2003

The Yemeni government has recently finalized designs for Vocational Institutes in quest of qualifying and training labour and to mitigate the burden of unemployment among youth ranks as well as lessen negatives of university education outputs. The most important objective of all is to prepare skillful labour in order to be able to find job opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to official sources, around 12500 both sexes students from various governorates have joined technical and vocational centres and institutes for acquiring technical and vocational skills and to lessen pressure on universities.
Yemeni government has received about $50 million for building 19 vocational and technical centres financed by the Saudi Fund, while the government is to finance about 61 educational institutions for the same objective.
Sources at the ministry of technical education and vocational training have made it clear that the Yemeni side would deliver engineering designs of those projects to the Saudi Fund for final approval and start announcing about and implementing them.
The ministry of technical education and vocational training created new scientific specialties by opening specialized centres but the accommodation capacity of the new academic year does not exceed 4600 students at a proportion of 35% from all students applying for study for the year 2003-2004.
The ministry has also discussed a strategic plan with donors to be supported by them and aimed at building 612 training and qualification establishments over a period of ten years. The government has in fact gave its directives to ministries to put this goal among their future plans. The essential question to be aroused now is whether Yemen would be able to restore the labor to the Saudi market after rehabilitation of the youth and training them or that goal has become far from being realized in he foreseeable period. There are some who confirm that exporting Yemeni labour to the neighbouring states is not something easy because of the circumstances of the economic crisis they are experiencing and might not help them import labour from Yemen which places much hope on exporting skilled labour to lessen the burden of unemployment, poverty and lack of job opportunities.
The ministry of social affairs and labour is working, in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), on implementing plans for the employment of the unemployed in a regular way by adopting policies and programs leading to improve performance and providing job opportunities. The ministry is intent for opening four recruitment bureaus in a number of governorates to accommodate labour and these bureaus would act as a middleman between employers and labour.
The labour market program at the ministry is presently putting the final touches for a project aimed at surveying the demand for workforce in order to prepare a database on volume of labour and needs of labor market, providing necessary data on workers for qualifying and training them on new jobs compatible with needs of the market.