Pakistan vows to adopt ‘fully enforce’ Saudi professional verification program

Saudi Ministry of Human Resources, Social Development announced launching of the program, which was aimed to verify all skilled workers in Saudi Arabia


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan will “fully” enforce the requirements of a newly launched Saudi “professional verification” program to equip the labour force with latest skills which help perform better in their occupation.


A senior official at the ministry of overseas Pakistanis and human resource development said the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced launching of the program, which was aimed to verify all skilled workers in Saudi Arabia.


It would include practical and theoretical examinations in a worker’s specialized field and target more than 1,000 professions belonging to 23 fields, he added.


The program, which was started in July, sought to improve the quality of skilled workers in the Saudi labor market, enhance their productivity, improve the services they provide and reduce the influx of unqualified workers.


Currently, over 2.5 million Pakistanis work in Saudi Arabia, which was one of the highest sources of remittances for the South Asian nation.


“The kingdom has all the right to ask for only those workers which fulfil their requirements,” Kashif Ahmed Noor, the director-general of the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview with Arab News.


“If they want a certain skilled worker, they should get only professionally skilled workers for that job.”


“We have not been informed officially about the program and its requirements so far … once we will be officially informed by the Saudi government about the requirements of testing, we will implement and fully enforce them as per their demand,” the official added.


Pakistan’s National Vocational and Technical Training Commission was already carrying out certifications with international accreditation and taking approval from other countries through mutual skill recognition programs, Noor said.


“It will be clear after Saudi’s official communication whether they will collaborate with NAVTTC or establish a separate testing center.”


“It is our responsibility to ensure to provide them [Saudi Arabia] the right man for the right job,” Noor said, adding that all tour operators, promoters and official channels of sending workers to Saudi Arabia had to follow the requirements in letter and spirit.


“We will also launch an awareness program for tour operators to sensitize them about new requirements”, he said.

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