Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Saudi Government will hold vocational exams for unskilled migrant workers, totalling some 2.6 million people, including those from Indonesia, the Saudi Gazette cited Makkah daily which quoted a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, as saying on Wednesday (Nov 13).
Head of the Vocational Examination Program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development Naif Al-Omair said at a workshop in Dammam on Tuesday (Nov 12) that the ministry would hold vocational exams in five stages starting in December 2019.
Omair added the tests covering theories and practices would be applied to workers from seven countries, namely, India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“These countries send about 95 percent of workers to the Kingdom,” he said, adding that there were eight training centers in the central, western, eastern and southern regions that will hold the tests.
He noted that workers from India would take the examination in December 2019, while those from the Philippines would take the one in May 2020.
Meanwhile, examinations for workers from Sri Lanka and Indonesia will be held in July 2020, and tests for those from Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan will be held in December 2021.
Omair said the tests would be conducted in Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Filipino.
He explained that around 400,000 to 500,000 workers would take the vocational exams each year and they have to pay fees of between 400 and 500 Saudi riyals (US$1=3,75 Saudi riyal).
According to Omair, workers who pass the exams will be given a five-year certificate.
He added that the program will make it possible to test workers in their respective countries before they arrive in Saudi Arabia.
Omair pointed out that there are 7.18 million migrant workers in the country, with around 3.1 million without certificates higher than diplomas, 1.55 million people working in various marginal jobs and 2.62 million others having no skills.
Reporting by Indonesia Window